Mercedes boss Toto Wolff explains Lewis Hamilton plan vs Max Verstappen at Turkish GP

Lando Norris reveals the advice Lewis Hamilton gave him

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has outlined Lewis Hamilton’s plan of attack at this week’s Turkish Grand Prix, revealing that the seven-time world champion will be ‘aggressive’ as he looks to take first place ahead of Max Verstappen.

Hamilton and Verstappen head into this week’s event in Istanbul as the two leading men in the drivers’ standings, as the Englishman sits just two points ahead of his Red Bull rival.

The seven-time champion returned to top spot following a victory in Russia last time out, as he leaped back ahead of Verstappen who finished the race in Sochi in second.

Hamilton and his team will be looking for victory again in Turkey to further consolidate his place at the top of the standings.

And, the man in charge, Wolff, admitted in order to do this the Englishman will attempt to be ‘aggressive’ around the Istanbul track.

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He commented: “This season is keeping all of us on our toes and that’s something we are enjoying immensely, but it also means we have to be aggressive with our approach to the season in order to maximise the points available. That’s our focus for Turkey and beyond.”

In spite of his team’s assertive plan, the 49-year-old admitted there are still plenty of ‘unknowns’ facing Hamilton, and his teammate Valtteri Bottas at the Turkish track.

He added: “I know Lewis, Valtteri and the entire team are fired up for the battle that lies ahead, and we look set for another exciting race this weekend at Istanbul Park where there are still many unknowns for us because of the track surface and weather conditions in 2020.

“It’s an exciting track layout and a good one for racing, so I think we will be in for another spectacular twist in this brilliant F1 season.”

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The Russian Grand Prix turned out to be a rather impressive outing for the Mercedes team, as not only did Hamilton’s win see him and his team move back to the top of both the drivers’ and constructors’ standings – it also marked the 36-year-old’s 100th Formula One win.

Unsurprisingly, Wolff confirmed that the mood within the Mercedes camp was a positive one: “There’s been a brilliant buzz in the team over the last week or so.

“Being back on the top step of the podium was an incredible feeling for all of us, and particularly after such a dramatic race weekend.“It was obviously made even more special by being Lewis’ 100th race win in Formula 1. 

“In the moment, milestones like this are exceptional, but I think it will take time for us to all realise just how remarkable this period of time is, and how privileged we all are to be part of this journey with him.”

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In spite of all the positivity and his hopes for another Hamilton win, Wolff has also confirmed that the Englishman could potentially take an engine penalty, after using the maximum number of three already this season.

He said: “When and how [a fourth engine is used] is not yet decided. Most important is that you don’t DNF [‘did not finish’] because of a reliability issue.

“You can cope with swings. Whether you finish second, third, I think that is okay; the championship is going to go long. But if you don’t finish…

“So we are looking at the parameters of the engines, making sure we don’t suffer from any reliability problems.”

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