Lewis Hamilton’s demands bring defiant response from Mercedes boss Toto Wolff

F1: Can Lewis Hamilton do it again?

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Toto Wolff has downplayed the prospect of Mercedes bringing in upgrades to their car after Lewis Hamilton demanded improvements following a frustrating Styrian Grand Prix. Hamilton finished second to a dominant Max Verstappen, who took a trouble-free win from pole position.

The reigning world champion was unable to catch the Red Bull driver who enjoyed a sizeable lead for much of Sunday’s race.

Following the first round of pit-stops, Verstappen steadily increased his gap to Hamilton, to all-but-end his title rival’s hopes of pitting again and overtaking him.

Though the final gap between the two was biased by Hamilton making a second stop, Verstappen was already on course to set a new record at the Red Bull Ring for margin of victory.

The win saw Verstappen extend his lead in the world championship to 18 points, with Hamilton calling for his team to bring some new upgrades to their car.

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“I was trying to keep up but the speed they have, they’ve obviously made some big improvements over the last couple of races,” he told Sky Sports.

“They’ve definitely made some big steps the last couple of races and we’ve not really got an answer for it.”

“I don’t remember the last time we had an upgrade. But they have. They’ve brought the engine upgrade and they’ve brought some other part of the package and it’s just eeked them ahead.

“We need an upgrade of some sort. We need to find some performance from somewhere.”


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But with the regulations set to undergo a major change for next season, with the sport set to be turned on its head, Mercedes boss Wolff played down the chances of any upgrades this season.

Instead, Wolff wants his team to put all their energy into designing next season’s car to ensure they set themselves up for the long-term.

“It is a very, very tricky decision because we are having new regulations not only for next year but the years to come, a completely different car concept,” he told Sky Sports.

“You’ve got to choose the right balance and pretty much everybody’s going to be on next year’s cars. Some may still bring stuff.

“Red Bull brought vans on Thursday and Friday with new parts, and fair enough, it’s a strategy, and one that proves to be successful as it stands, because today they were simply in a league of their own from a car pace wise.”

Despite that admission, Wolff still believes his team and Hamilton have a chance of winning the championship this season.

“This is far from over. We had a very difficult weekend here in Austria, with no weapons in our armoury to win this race fair and straight,” he said.

“But we will be winning races this season, and we will be having pole positions, and we will be fighting as much as we can for every single result.”
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