Mercedes will beat Red Bull in a future title fight because of Toto Wolff‘s leadership of the Formula 1 team, according to driver Lewis Hamilton.
After dominating F1 since 2014, 2022 will be the first season the Silver Arrows miss out on one of the Drivers’ or Constructors’ Championships having been off the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari all year.
But asked ahead of the US Grand Prix where Mercedes‘ point of difference against Red Bull will be in future seasons, Hamilton told the press: “I think it’s leadership.
“We’ve got a great leader, we’ve got amazing support from the Daimler board who are all passionate racers and then I think the core group of people just has great communication throughout the organisation. Toto’s very focussed as a leader to re-elevate people.”
Hamilton and Wolff arrived at Mercedes together in 2013, and have since formed a formidable partnership that’s netted 14 world championships for team and driver.
Only arch-rivals Max Verstappen and Christian Horner have a similarly close relationship, the pair could be the dominant force of the 2010s and have often clashed with their silver competitors.
However, Hamilton‘s words reiterated his belief that Wolff can bring Mercedes back to the top.
“I don’t know any other leader I’ve worked with that asks how things are at home,” Hamilton added.
“That asks ‘how can I help support you better so you have more time with your wife and your husband or with your partner, with the kids so that you come to work and be happy and want to commit more’, that’s who Toto is.
“So I think it’s that and I think because of that there’s a real general hunger within the team so yeah a combination of those and I’d like to think that we’ll be the ones that’ll be competing with them and being able to beat them again.”
A five-way title fight?
Throughout Mercedes‘ years of dominance, Hamilton came in for regular mockery when calling for F1 to have more competitive balance.
He never faced a true three-way title fight, and 2022 has again seen a straight fight between the top two with Mercedes unable to regularly compete for race wins.
However, Hamilton stressed he wasn’t just hoping for another spar with Red Bull, and even said he’s hoping that McLaren can return to the top for the first time since he raced for them at the start of his career.
“I really hope that Ferrari are strong in the following years,” Hamilton added.
“They’ve definitely had a difficult year but there’s been some strong signs that you’ve seen this year that’s been nice to see and it’s been nice to see Ferrari doing well again.
“I think Ferrari also have people who’ve been there for over 20 years and we really do have I think a lot in depth.
“So I hope that it’s more than a two-way battle next year, I hope there’s at least three of us, if not even more.
“Why can’t can’t McLaren be there, or even Alpine‘s been doing amazing, so we’ll see.”