Lewis Hamilton is “hungry, focused and completely determined” to secure his fifth world championship, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has said.
Hamilton, who will head into Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix holding a 50-point lead over Sebastian Vettel with just 125 remaining, appeared alongside Wolff at Mercedes’ headquarters in Brackley on Monday.
The pair addressed the team’s workforce less than 24 hours after Hamilton’s win in Russia which edged the Brit ever closer to another title triumph.
While controversy surrounded Hamilton’s victory in Sochi, after Valtteri Bottas was ordered to step aside for his Mercedes team-mate, he has won five of the last six rounds.
“Lewis was in Brackley this week and is hungry, focused and completely determined to succeed,” Austrian Wolff said.
“It has been great to see the power he has brought to this championship, and how he has taken it to the next level since the summer break.”
Mercedes held the advantage over Ferrari in Sochi to take another step to winning an impressive fifth consecutive constructors’ championship.
The Silver Arrows have not been beaten at Suzuka, the venue for this week’s race, since 2013.
But Wolff added: “We left Sochi with a bigger lead in both championships, but we know that doesn’t mean anything because our fight with Ferrari is far from being over.
“We can take nothing for granted and we will stay at maximum attack on every front in the next races. The battle with Ferrari remains extremely close.
“Suzuka will be another challenging weekend for us.
“It’s a track that shows some similarities to Silverstone, where we didn’t perform as strongly this year as we had done in previous seasons.
“So we’re going to Japan knowing that we all have to be at our very best if we want to claim the win.
“And Lewis may have a lead at the top of the standings but we know we will be pushed by the rest of the teams until the end of the season.