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Formula 1: Toto Wolff misses Brazil Grand Prix – his first since joining Mercedes



Toto Wolff congratulates driver Lewis Hamilton after the British GP last month

Mercedes Formula 1 manager Toto Wolff will miss this week's Brazilian Grand Prix, the first time he has been absent from a race since joining them in 2013. [19659003] Wolff said that the team had "hunger and desire for more progress" but that he stayed in Europe "to focus on other open topics."

The most senior position will be technical manager James Allison.

But Wolff insists that Mercedes wants to end the Formula One season on a high despite having already passed both championships.

"There is no sense of complacency. Everyone is still determined to continue to improve," he said.

Wolff in his role as head of Mercedes Motorsport has a number of other urgent issues to deal with in addition to the operation of the F1

team.

These include ongoing negotiations with F1 on the new commercial and governance structures that will begin from 2021 following the announcement of new technical regulations at the end of last month.

Mercedes also debuts as a factory team in the all-electric Formula E series, whose new season begins in Saudi Arabia the weekend after the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Wolff, who will remain in development in Sao Paulo this weekend from Europe, said Mercedes's hunger for success remained untimely after celebrating its record-breaking sixth in a row drivers and constructors' championship doubles at their Northamptonshire factory last year

"It's an inspiring group of people who fully live up to the Mercedes quest to be the best," he said.

"We have two competitions to go during the 2019 season and we want to end this season at a height.

"Brazil gives back good memories from last year when we could not only win the race but also secure the championship of Interlagos.

" It is a very short course that makes the qualification particularly challenging because the margins are very small. We haven't generally had the fastest car on Saturdays since the summer break, but we were able to take the pole (at the last race) in Austin and will try to fight for a first row again at Sao Paulo. "

Lewis Hamilton, who climbed his sixth world title at the last race in the United States, has also said he is determined to continue his strong performance in Brazil and the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton wants to end the season with two more wins, which would make it the most successful season of his career, and he is particularly keen to improve his record in qualifying.

Although he has qualified teammate Valtteri Bottas 12 times in 19 races, Hamilton has only four pole positions to the Finn's five and he is anxious to try to address it.


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