Wolff: Mercedes stronger for 2016 challenges, hungry for more success in ’17

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Mercedes Formula 1 chief Toto Wolff believes that the team has emerged stronger for the challenges it faced through the 2016 season, but remains hungry for more success next year.

Mercedes swept to a third straight championship double in 2016, with Nico Rosberg claiming his maiden drivers’ title ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton.

The pair shared 19 race wins, marking a new record for a team in one season, and started on pole for all but one race.

Rosberg announced five days after winning the championship that he would be retiring from racing with immediate effect, leaving Mercedes with the task of finding a replacement ahead of the 2017 campaign.

Following a challenging season, Wolff sent a Christmas message to the entire Mercedes workforce reflecting on the campaign and looking ahead to next year.

Here is the message in full:

2016 has been a remarkable year. Our team has broken records in the history books; we have pursued our goals with passion and determination; and we were tested at each turn by unexpected challenges.

Nico was crowned champion and then departed the stage. Lewis needed strength of character to handle defeat with composure and dignity. We celebrated our success and we learned from our mistakes. Through all these moments, we have emerged stronger and more capable to face together the road ahead.

Our position in the spotlight puts every decision taken and every word spoken under an intense microscope. They are debated passionately among our fans and interpreted by the media.

But there has been enough talking, now. This is the period for calm and considered reflection; to savor our achievements and prepare for the next campaign.

As we move forward, we will continue to be guided above all by the best interest of our team. This philosophy is bigger than any one season or any one person.

It has forged a group that is humble in victory and gracious in defeat; hungry for challenge and resilient under pressure; never satisfied with the status quo, always seeking to improve.

Our values have been the foundation stones of three world championships. And there will be no compromise as we begin our quest for a fourth in 2017.

It is now time for some days away from the world of racing, to be enjoyed among family and friends. To recharge the batteries for the bigger challenges ahead.

We will tackle new rules, welcome a new race driver and take on even stronger rivals. It will test our team’s character, strength and capability. Bring it on!

With my best wishes to you all for a very happy Christmas,

Toto.