Mercedes sympathise with Ferrari
Rivals on track, Mercedes determined to stay friends with Ferrari off it; Wolff braced for another big battle in Hungary this weekend
Last Updated: 23/07/18 2:18pm
Mercedes have expressed their sympathies with title rivals Ferrari after the Scuderia endured what team boss Maurizio Arrivabene described as a 'fraught weekend' at the German GP.
While Sebastian Vettel crashed out from the lead of the race, the Ferrari team also confirmed on Saturday night that Sergio Marchionne, their president and chief executive officer, had been replaced due to illness.
"Even in the joy of victory, our thoughts also remain with Sergio Marchionne and his family. Although we are rivals on the track, we are friends off it and we were saddened to hear the news of his illness," said Mercedes chief Toto Wolff on Sunday night.
And Wolff was full of sympathy for Vettel after his costly error.
"I feel for him because it is home grand prix," Wolff told Sky F1. "We hit each other hard on the track, and this was a moment which gave us the win, but I can also sympathise."
Wolff also clarified why the team called off the fight for victory between Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas after the two Mercedes drivers spectacularly duelled for the lead following the restart after a Safety Car period for Vettel's crash.
"With so much at stake, and after the misfortune of recent weeks, we took the call to tell Valtteri to hold position - it would have been the same if the cars had been the other way round, too, because we needed to protect the one-two and avoid losing one or both cars," explained Wolff.
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"After the drama of Silverstone and then qualifying yesterday, this is a dream result and that unpredictability is the beauty of sport. But our focus will turn quickly to Hungary, where we will have to do it all over again next weekend."
Heading to Hungary, Mercedes lead both championships, but Wolff remains wary.
"The battle continues," he said. "The next one is Budapest and we know we have to work hard to get back on top. It is going to be up and down between drama and glory through the season and this is what motor racing should be all about."
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