Wolff thinks London controversy boosted Hamilton at Silverstone

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Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff thinks Lewis Hamilton used the criticism of his decision not to attend a pre-British Grand Prix event as extra motivation to take victory on Sunday.

The man from Stevenage was the only driver not to participate in the first ever 'F1 Live' street demonstration in and around Trafalgar Square last Wednesday evening. That drew some boos from the crowds and some suggesting double standards from the three-time world champion after earlier claiming F1 doesn't do enough to interact with fans on the one hand but then not showing up for an event doing just that before his home race.

His love for the support was then a key theme throughout the weekend from Hamilton, who insisted preparation for the race weekend was the reason for his absence, and Wednesday was certainly forgotten after claiming a fifth victory at Silverstone and fourth in a row.

"I think that sometimes you need the right impulse to extract the maximum performance and that is maybe an answer to the critics," Wolff said.

"I still don't understand why the British hero is being beaten up before the Grand Prix and it probably made him even more determined to show his fans how he can drive, and he can drive."

The eventual result also did much more than putting that minor controversy firmly in the past as it also firmly shifted the momentum in favour of Hamilton in the championship fight, with the Mercedes driver just a single point behind Sebastian Vettel with one more race before the summer break.

Asked if Lewis was now the favourite to claim the crown, however, Wolff played it cautious.

"I think we shouldn't be looking so much in trying to figure out the favourite,” the Austrian claimed.  

"It's halftime, 250 points to be achieved and you just need to extract every inch of performance in the car, and out of the driver, and eventually the points will add up, minimise mistakes like we have done in the past.

"And then when we race to end, start thinking about the favourites."

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