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Hamilton, Wolff pledge to lead Mercedes comeback

Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff pledged to keep fighting to take Mercedes back to the top in Formula One after Red Bull ended their eight-year domination on Sunday.

Double world champion Max Verstappen’s record-equalling 13th win of the season clinched Red Bull’s first teams title since 2013, and fifth overall, with an emotional triumph ahead of Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

“We are much closer now,” said Wolff, whose team struggled severely with “porpoising” and bouncing in the first half of this season.

“Today, we were racing for a win and on the second run, on the hard tyres, we were probably the fastest car along with Max… But we were just off, by two-tenths in the end.

“But credit to Red Bull. Max was really strong. And winning the constructors’ title is what they deserve.”

Wolff said Mercedes understood their mistakes and their car and were hoping to exploit their wind tunnel work to return stronger next season.

“We understand what we got wrong now and we can trace it right back to last October,” Wolff said. “We thought we could run the car on the deck, but we can’t… But now we’re making small little hamster steps.”

He said Mercedes hoped to “reel them in next year” and would seek to extract the maximum from their car in the remaining three races this season.

“It would be nice to win, but if not if we can race much closer, that’s enough,” Wolff said.

Hamilton was also bullish about the future despite disappointment at lacking the pace to hold off Verstappen in Sunday’s final laps.

“What I take from today is that we had good pace and I’m still here,” said the 37-year-old seven-time world champion.

“And I know that when they build the car, I will take it right back to the top. We just keep on working. I’m so proud of everybody.”

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