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Lowe exit not cause of Mercedes F1 slump – Wolff

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Toto Wolff has denied Mercedes’ performance took a hit in 2017 due to the departure of Paddy Lowe.

Before the season, technical boss Lowe switched from the triple back-to-back world champions to Williams, and since then Ferrari has pulled out a small lead as the fastest team in F1.

When asked if the situations are linked, Wolff told Sport Bild: “Paddy is an excellent engineer for whom I have great respect.

“But success in our sport is not about individual well-known personalities, but rather about having a balanced structure with the right people in the right places,” he said.

“And, in my opinion, that’s what we have at Mercedes. It’s in times like these that you realise how strong a team is and I could not be prouder of how all of them are dealing with the current situation,” Wolff added.

“We have our feet on the ground, everyone is focused on solving our troubles and we are enjoying the duel with Ferrari. That is what motor sport is all about — to compete against the best.”

Wolff also rejected any talk that, as Mercedes’ dominance starts to dip, a weak link in that need to pull together as a team could be Lewis Hamilton.

“Lewis’ attitude and his personal maturity have impressed me this season,” he insisted.

“We had good conversations in the winter. Everyone put his cards on the table, we talked about what worked and what has not worked in recent years, and since then he has taken a strengthened management role in the team.

“I also feel that he loves this fight against Ferrari,” Wolff explained. “Lewis has a very positive influence on the team and is more motivated than I have ever seen him. Which is just as you would expect from a champion of his quality.”

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