Mercedes Formula 1 chief Toto Wolff feels the backlash Lewis Hamilton faced for missing the sport’s live event in London earlier this week helped spur him on to his crushing victory in Sunday’s British Grand Prix.
Hamilton went lights-to-flag at Silverstone to record his fifth home win, heading up a one-two finish for Mercedes and moving to within one point of Sebastian Vettel in the championship lead.
The result came at the end of a patchy week for Hamilton that saw him come under fire for being the only active driver not to attend F1 Live in London.
“I think that sometimes you need the right impulse to extract the maximum performance and that is maybe an answer to the critics,” Wolff said.
“I still don’t understand why the British hero is being beaten up before the grand prix and it probably made him even more determined to show his fans how he can drive, and he can drive.”
When asked if Hamilton was now the favourite for the championship, Wolff said: “I think we shouldn’t be looking so much in trying to figure out the favourite.
“It’s halftime, 250 points to be achieved and you just need to extract every inch of performance in the car, and out of the driver, and eventually the points will add up, minimize mistakes like we have done in the past.
“And then when we race to end, start thinking about the favourites.”