Toto Wolff believes Lewis Hamilton being able to “let off steam” resulted in his more positive outlook and performance at the United States Grand Prix.
Hamilton received plenty of attention during the Japanese Grand Prix weekend for his off-track behaviour, getting criticised for his attitude in a press conference before announcing he would not do as much media in future. The defending champion finished third at Suzuka but was back on top form in Austin, winning from pole to cut Nico Rosberg’s championship lead to 26 points.
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Asked why Hamilton seemed different in the US to Japan, Mercedes boss Wolff replied: “Suzuka was very different.
“We had just come out of Malaysia where he had lost the win – 25 points gone – he would have made up that gap in the championship and then it started with the press conference and it went into a spiral. He has 10 days to recover and he has come back strong. He has let off steam.
“I don’t know [why he was so confident], but Austin is a track where he has historically performed very well, and you could see that from the get go. He was extremely up for it.”
With Hamilton saying he was fearing a repeat failure throughout Sunday’s race, Wolff admits the Malaysia retirement will stay in the back of many minds at Mercedes until the end of the season.
“It is never plain sailing. It was as good as it can be with the engine. I understand that Malaysia came out of nowhere and Malaysia swings with all of us. That little trauma is going to remain for a while.”
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