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Wolff warns: Mercedes' motivation is greater than ever

Toto Wolff says the setbacks faced by Mercedes in Brazil have only served as a driving force in their fight against Red Bull.

Toto Wolff has proclaimed that the motivation within the Mercedes team is "greater than ever" after they recovered from a number of setbacks to win the Brazilian Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton started the weekend by topping qualifying but was excluded from the session over a rear wing issue, and then had to take a five-place grid penalty for the Grand Prix itself due to an engine change. Having also faced questions from rivals Red Bull over their straight-line speed, Wolff expressed his pride at the manner in which his team handled the situation, and ultimately came out on top. "Last weekend in Sao Paulo was a triumph through adversity and I couldn't be prouder of the fighting spirit from every member of our team," said Wolff. "Through each setback, our determination grew stronger, and this already close team grew tighter with every challenge thrown our way. "Lewis completed a stunning victory, which will rightly be talked about for years to come. For us, that victory is just one important step on our journey and our goal is clear. "The disqualification on Saturday, though, and the potential loss of three points, doesn't make the challenge to fight for the championship any easier. "On Valtteri [Bottas], he performed excellently all weekend. His Sprint victory on Saturday and podium on Sunday showed the strength of our pairing; their teamwork was fantastic."

A new challenge in Qatar

Now attention turns to this weekend's inaugural Qatar Grand Prix at the Losail International Circuit, the final leg of last triple-header of the season, and Wolff says the team will be using recent events as added inspiration. "We arrive in Qatar for a fresh challenge, a brand-new circuit for F1 and one we can't wait to race on," Wolff added. "We have prepared as well as we can for a new track and the need to maximise our learnings from the opening practice sessions will be as important as ever. "The performance picture from circuit to circuit remains unpredictable but as Brazil showed, even on the back foot, this team will always be there fighting. "The final race of a triple-header can sometimes test your energy levels but with just three races to decide both Championships, our motivation is greater than ever. "Our focus is on channelling it in the most effective way."

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