Hamilton on leaving Mercedes: Never say never

Lewis Hamilton in a vintage Merc

Lewis Hamilton in a vintage Merc

A fifth championship - secured at the last race in Mexico - moved Hamilton level with Juan Manuel Fangio in the all-time list, with only Schumacher on seven titles having won more.

But Wolff wants to see his drivers crank up the pressure on Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen during the final stretch.

Mercedes say they have made progress in understanding why they lacked performance in Mexico where 2018 champion Lewis Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas struggled to keep up with both Red Bull and Ferrari.

Mercedes are 55 points clear of the Italians, with 43 still to be won after Brazil. As they head to Brazil, he's keen on completing the "unfinished business" the German team have on rivals Ferrari.

"We have a big battle on our hands for the constructors' title and we have lost ground to Ferrari in each of the past (two) race weekends - even though we had the base performance to do better".

The constructors' championship is still a very big deal for everyone at the 900-strong team, and not just because staff bonuses are paid on it rather than the drivers' one.

Mercedes enjoyed a festive conclusion to its weekend at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, with Lewis Hamilton clinching his fifth world title, but the Silver Arrows pace in the event was anything to boast about.

With no Brazilian driver in the race, Felipe Massa's departure at the end of a year ago ending an unbroken line extending over four decades, the carnival atmosphere may be slightly more muted. "I'm very, very fortunate to be up here now, obviously with more than most people have, and I don't take that for granted". Hamilton called the Brazilian track "one of the trickiest of the season" and "an Achilles heel".

All teams will approach Interlagos with some trepidation after Mercedes mechanics and others were targeted by armed robbers outside the circuit last time, with tighter security measures promised.

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