Following a 1-2 finish in Russia that extended their Sochi dominance, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport are aiming to string together back-to-back victories to continue their win streak in Japan.
“Claiming a 1-2 in Sochi after three races without a win was a great feeling. We delivered a strong race in Russia, made the most of our opportunities and both Lewis and Valtteri drove flawlessly,” Team Principal Toto Wolff said. “We brought home 44 points, built the gap in both championships and are highly motivated to keep our foot on the throttle for the remaining five races.
“However, the win in Sochi doesn’t change the fact that Ferrari had a stronger start to the second part of the season than we did. We’ll bring some minor upgrades to the car in Japan which will hopefully help us take a step in the right direction; however, we know that we need to extract absolutely everything from our car and the tires if we want to be able to challenge for a win.”
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport have triumphed in the last five Japanese Grands Prix, with Lewis Hamilton winning two straight and four of the last five visits to the Suzuka International Racing Course.
Hamilton, who has five career wins at the Japanese Grand Prix, headed a Mercedes 1-2 finish in last year’s event, leading Valtteri Bottas to the finish line.
A win this time around at Suzuka would give Hamilton his 10th victory of the year and mark his fifth career season with double-digit wins in Formula One™.
If Bottas can beat the field to the checkered flag he would capture his third win of 2019 and match his best season in F1 in terms of victories (3) and podiums (13).
“The next race takes us to the iconic Suzuka Circuit with its exhilarating corner sequences and highly enthusiastic fans,” Wolff said. “We have a strong track record there, having won every Japanese Grand Prix in the hybrid era, but we expect this year to be challenging given the strength of our opponents. It will be a very close battle on track – and one that we very much look forward to. Our targets for the final quarter of the season is clear and it’s up to us to make sure we achieve them.”