“Look at Mercedes’ History, Terrible Honda” – Toto Wolff Fires Subtle Warning to Audi-Porsche

Published 11/07/2021, 3:12 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – Mercedes Executive Director Toto Wolff in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

With a regulations overhaul in the works, Formula One is attracting more and more manufacturers who want to enter the sport. Volkswagen are the latest who seems likely to enter the sport after the engine freeze ends in 2026. But Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has warned the new investors that success in the sport is not instant.


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Many previous manufacturers who have entered the sport have rarely succeeded in their first year. Honda is now tasting success after its seventh season in the sport; Mercedes did not have a championship-winning car till the 2014 season either.

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Mercedes team boss praises the team for its resistance in the sport

It is a valid point that the Austrian has raised. As most of the manufacturers enter the sport expecting instant and initial success. But it rarely happens. Honda are bowing out of the sport just when they have arguably the best engine.

Mercedes engines and cars failed until 2013, when they started challenging for wins. Toto too gave the example of the German team and praised its resistance in the sport. The Austrian also took a dig at the struggles faced by their rival engine manufacturers Honda when they re-joined the sport.

Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 22, 2021, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in the pits during practice REUTERS/Mike Blake

“Look at Mercedes’ history in the first three years of this being a works team. Look at the terrible Honda years that they faced, or the Renault days. All of us had to fight our way up to eventually win races and championships.

So it’s a fine balance that we need to get right to attract newcomers as power unit manufacturers.” said the Austrian.

Honda had to endure some very tough years in the sport before tasting success now.


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We’ve been there since a long time: Toto Wolff

As reported by Autosport, the Austrian stated the team has invested a lot of blood, sweat, and money in succeeding in the sport. He advises the new manufacturers to not expect titles in their early years.

“I think it’s great that we have strong OEMs that are showing an interest in coming to the sport. Obviously, none of these major car companies wants to come in and face a situation that they are highly uncompetitive, and therefore we need to have systems in place that mitigate those very big risks,” said Toto.

Formula One F1 – Dutch Grand Prix – Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands – September 5, 2021, Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff arrives at the circuit REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

“But, on the other side, F1 is the Champions’ League, and nobody can expect to enter the Champions League for the first time and be straight into the final and go home with the big trophy.


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“We’ve been there for a long time, we’ve invested lots of money, sweat and blood, and terrible results in order to get us where we are.” said the Mercedes team boss.

The big corporations who plan to enter the sport must manage their expectations and look for initial and small gains. They should build on their progress, which will inevitably result in them challenging for the title.


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Do you agree with Toto Wolff? Let us know.




Devang Chauhan

1462 articles

Devang Chauhan is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication, he has a keen eye for writing engaging and detailed articles on F1. Previously a writer for Sports Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been an ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.