Toto Wolff: 'Singapore not preliminary title decision'

Toto Wolff hits back at suggestions that Sunday in Singapore was a 'preliminary decision' for a fourth world championship title for Lewis Hamilton.

Toto Wolff has hit back at suggestions that Sunday in Singapore was a 'preliminary decision' for a fourth world championship title for Lewis Hamilton.

With the first-corner crash between Max Verstappen and both Ferraris, including Hamilton's title rival Sebastian Vettel, the fifth-placed qualifier Hamilton ultimately dominated and won in Singapore.

Niki Lauda, the Mercedes team chairman, told Bild that the now 28-point gap between Hamilton and Vettel is effectively a "preliminary decision".

"I would not get carried away with such a statement," he explained. "I can only smile inside to myself.

"But it is a big step forward. Of course the world championship is only won when it is won."

Team boss Wolff, however, is much more cautious.

"In the morning we were thinking about damage limitation," he said, "and in the evening we were talking about a 28-point advantage.

"Now there are six more races, which means the situation can turn against us six times, as happened today for Ferrari."

As for the blame for the crash, Ferrari caused an uproar on Twitter by pointing the finger squarely at Verstappen.

Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene said on Italian television: "It was clearly Verstappen's fault."

Yet according to De Telegraaf, the Red Bull driver hit back: "If you're going for the championship like Vettel, you don't have to take so much risk."

Next up is the Malaysian Grand Prix on October 1.

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