Toto Wolff insists Mercedes won’t use team orders to help Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi

Lewis Hamilton has finished second at the last three races, in Brazil, Mexico and the United States.

Lewis Hamilton has just one race left to ensure that his monumental record of having won a race in every season he’s competed in continues, with that last chance coming at this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Hamilton and Mercedes will be arriving at the Yas Marina Circuit perhaps feeling slightly raw, given what happened at the venue in 2021.

The side’s first victory of the season last weekend at the Brazilian Grand Prix should give the Germans the boost they need; however, it’d be understandable if Hamilton is perhaps slightly quieter than usual this weekend.

Whilst records have never been something that Hamilton has paid particular interest to, the 37-year-old might feel disappointed if he fails to win this weekend, as 2022 would then become the first F1 season he’s competed in where he hasn’t won a single race.

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has dismissed any suggestion that the team will prioritise the seven-time World Champion this weekend, meaning he’s on his own if he wants to claim a historic victory.

“Lewis doesn’t need any prioritisation and it’s not what he ever would want,” replied Wolff.

“He mentioned before that this record of winning a race in every season is less of a priority for him, it is more that we are getting the car back to where it can be and that we are racing for more race victories next year and hopefully, for a championship.”

Ahead of this weekend’s finale, Wolff also reflected on how incredible the team performed at Interlagos, where for the first-time this season Mercedes arguably had the strongest car on the grid.

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The Germans resurgence has been one of the stories of the second half of the year, with the side having even managed to claim their first one-two since the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix last weekend.

Despite last weekend being so strong for the side, Wolff is expecting a return to normality this weekend, with the circuit predicted to be less suitable for the W13.

“I think we had the quickest package all through [the São Paulo] weekend. Whether that was on the soft tyre or on the medium, we were quickest,” said Wolff.

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“And why that is, I think it is just the sum of the parts of the development that has been brought onto the car, the good work that was done over the season from the PU side and all of us together.

“But we have seen the positive trend over the last three races and are we back at the domination? No, we are not.

“I think Abu Dhabi on paper is much more difficult for us also because we are still too draggy, but I think we know why we are better. Do we know why we were so far ahead of everyone? No, we don’t.”