"It's obviously better to have a lead than to not have it, but there are six races remaining and plenty of points to score, so it doesn't give us any comfort. We will continue to concentrate on every single session, trying to optimise the car in every possible area - and we will go for the race win. There is no naïve optimism about our situation within the team: our mind-set is very positive, we are energised, the factories are buzzing and we're excited for the fight that we will certainly have in the next six races."
What are the chances of seeing Esteban and George in a Formula One cockpit next year?
"There are many good drivers who merit a drive in Formula One, both young ones and more experienced ones, but at the moment cockpits are a limited commodity. Both Esteban and George certainly deserve to be in Formula One; we are still working on options and will carefully decide what's best for them. If that means having to play the long game, then we will continue to prepare and develop them."
Valtteri currently holds P4 with only a very slim chance of fighting for the Drivers' Championship. What does that mean for a driver?
"For every racing driver, that's a very difficult situation to be in because everything you dream about and everything you work for is winning the World Championship. When you realise you're not in the hunt any more, that's very difficult to handle. But Valtteri has shown that he has the speed, the talent and the work ethic to win in a Mercedes. He has always been a team player and that is one of his greatest character traits. Valtteri could have won races this year, but the odds were against him. However luck isn't just a one-way street; and I know that Valtteri has every ingredient it needs to win at this level. He just needs to keep working hard to improve and trust that the tables will turn for him."
Content Supplied By - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport
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