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Mercedes

Mercedes: Red Bull woke up the lion in Hamilton!

Toto Wolff has warned Red Bull that Lewis Hamilton is "totally in the zone" as the 2021 season enters its closing stages.

Wolff Hamiton Qatar 2021
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To news overview © Mercedes

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes that Red Bull have inadvertently "woken up the lion" in Lewis Hamilton after the reigning World Champion made it back-to-back victories with his Qatar Grand Prix triumph.

Hamilton's title hopes were in the balance a week ago in Brazil when he was excluded from qualifying due to a rear wing breach, amid intense questioning from Red Bull over the legality of Mercedes' car.

However, he delivered two impressive recovery drives in the Sprint race and Grand Prix itself to claim the win, which he backed up with another commanding performance at the Losail International Circuit.

"The lion got woken up"

Wolff reckons Hamilton, who now trails title rival Max Verstappen by just eight points in the standings, has been motivated by recent events and is operating at his best.

"They have woken up the lion on the Saturday at Interlagos," Wolff told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"He is absolutely on it, brutal and cold-blooded. This is the best in Lewis. We've seen it in the past.

"I think when adversity happens it takes him to a place where he is able to mobilise superhero powers. It was the adversity that triggered that at Interlagos."

Ready for the final two races

Wolff has also explained that, after starting the season "on the back foot", Mercedes are excited to even be in the fight for both world titles ahead of the final two rounds in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.

While Hamilton closes in on Verstappen, Mercedes lead Red Bull by five points in the Constructors' standings.

"If you would have told us it's gonna go to Saudi Arabia or to the end of the season, we would have taken that," he told Sky Sports.

"I think we started on the back foot, we just weren't good enough. Regulations didn't go our way and you have to take it on the chin.

"Therefore, whoever wins the championship merits winning the championship, and it's [losing] gonna cost me maybe a sleepless night, maybe two.

"It would be annoying, but we can take it, it's not the end of the world. We will come back. We would come back strong next season and the seasons to come."

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