ALL SPORTS Breaking News F1 Technical Sports Top news

Wolff: 2018 F1 battle has already begun

Toto Wolff declared “the battle for 2018 has already begun” and said there is no danger of Mercedes backing off with both Formula One titles already in the bag.

Mercedes were crowned constructors’ champions for the fourth year in a row at the United States Grand Prix in October and Lewis Hamilton regained his crown in Mexico last time out.

The remaining two rounds in Brazil and Abu Dhabi could be seen as somewhat anticlimactic, but Mercedes boss Wolff said the team will be as hungry ever to succeed and take momentum into next season.

“It might be tempting to think that, with both championships now secure, the pressure is off for the two remaining races of 2017. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.” Wolff said.

“Inside the team, we are looking at the next two race weekends as the first two Grands Prix of 2018. We have two races that we are determined to win in order to take that positive momentum into the winter.

“There will be no backing off just because the championship business is now done.

“In fact, these next two races speak to every principle that makes us what we are. We aspire to excellence in everything we do, from the first lap of the winter shakedown in Silverstone to the final lap of the post-season test in Abu Dhabi. And every time we race, we race to win. That is the mind set we take to Sao Paulo.

“Lewis is operating at the peak of his powers right now, and will be determined to add another victory to last year’s success; Valtteri [Bottas] made a promising step forward in Mexico and will aim to build from this at Interlagos.

“As recent rounds have shown, winning Grands Prix is never easy. Red Bull have taken two victories in the past four races and, although we have claimed the other two, Ferrari remain formidable opponents. With the championship now settled, the battle for 2018 has already begun.”