"I think Lewis the whole year has been rock and roll, and Valtteri has recovered slowly but still needs the tick of a killer", said Wolff. "That's the real positive to take from it".
The safety car was deployed almost immediately after Haas driver Romain Grosjean bumped into the side of Force India's Esteban Ocon. While they were in the pits, Hamilton actually briefly inherited the lead of the race before pitting for tires himself.
Sebastian Vettel drove a consummate race to take a much-deserved win and Ferrari will be pleased with finally returning to the top step for the first time since round 11 in Hungary. He then harried Kimi Raikkonen right to the line but the red bus was too hard to pass.
Past F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve calls Valtteri Bottas' performance "embarrassing" after the Mercedes driver was unable to turn a pole position into victory at the Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix.
With the championship won, Hamilton had a big smash into a tyre wall in qualifying - an error that meant he had to start in the pit lane after the mechanics patched his car back together.
"You must not underestimate that in traffic against the Ferraris it was pretty difficult". The title was gone but the Scuderia were eager for a strong finish to the season.
But Hamilton snubbed the opportunity.
Hamilton produced a brilliant move to overtake Sergio Perez, going around the outside of the first corner and withstanding the Mexican's DRS-charged fightback. It was early doors, for one.
After a lengthy hearing on the incident, the FIA stated: "Following detailed discussion and further examination of video and data evidence related to the incident, Sebastian Vettel admitted full responsibility". "But that is not what I am about". He was concerned too that the cars becoming heavier with the addition of Halo would make for a poor combination.
The Dutch driver has had a mixed season with unreliability hurting him earlier in the year but he has bounced back to earn victories in Malaysia and Mexico.