Mercedes Team Principal Urges F1 To Draw the Line Between Sport and Entertainment

Published 12/29/2021, 6:07 AM EST
Formula One F1- Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – December 5, 2021 Mercedes’ Team Principal Toto Wolff is seen during the race Pool via REUTERS/Andrej Isakovic


Formula One has seen a rise in viewership due to Netflix’s Drive to Survive series. However, many feel there is unnecessary drama added to the show which takes away from what the reality is. After the dramatic Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, fans were outraged by the outcome; there were even suggestions that it was done deliberately to create a spectacle. Team boss of Mercedes, Toto Wolff, has stated that F1 is a sport first, and not entertainment.

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The Formula One community’s opinions about DTS are divided; some love it, others hate it. Its critics feel there is fake drama in the show to make the series exciting. Wolff is on the same page, as at the end of the day, Formula One is a sport and must maintain its integrity as such.

Toto Wolff gives his thoughts on the entertainment side of Formula One

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The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix’s results have been surrounded by controversy as Max Verstappen won his first World Championship after some questionable decisions by the powers that be. Wolff feels that trying to alter the race just to create some entertainment is not right.

Speaking to GPFans as quoted by Formula Passion.it, he said, “In the end, we provide entertainment but the entertainment must follow sports and not on the contrary. We love Netflix and ‘Drive to Survive’. Stefano Domenicali is doing a phenomenal job in marketing to promote this sport and Stefano, as a true driver, would have no interest in interfering in racing just to promote the entertainment factor.”

Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021 McLaren team principal Toto Wolff before the race Pool via REUTERS/Christian Bruna

I cannot judge the pressures to which the Clerk of the Course is subjected but in any case. We are credible as a sport because it is sport and not wrestling,” Wolff concluded.

(Translated from Italian via Google Translate)

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How did Mercedes perform this season?

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The Brackley-based outfit had an intense fight with Red Bull all season long, both in the constructors’ and the drivers’ championships. Lewis Hamilton managed to bag eight wins, five pole positions, and seventeen podiums, while Valtteri Bottas managed one win, four poles, and eleven podiums.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 11, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Hamilton earned 387.5 points, and Bottas finished at 226 points, giving a total of 613.5 points to the Silver Arrows, which saw them win the constructor’s championship; although Hamilton lost the drivers’ title.

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With the 2022 season a few months away, the Brackley-based outfit is looking forward to the winter break and will hope to come back stronger. The new lineup comprising Hamilton and George Russell will give the team a sense of optimism for the upcoming season. They will surely aim to win their ninth constructor’s title in Formula One.

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Arpit Gomes

1283 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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