Toto Wolff Explains How Ferrari Offered Their Helping Hand to Mercedes in Heartwarming Gesture at Monaco

Published 05/25/2021, 1:17 PM EDT
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


Ferrari and Mercedes share one of the closest modern rivalries in F1. During the years of the Vettel-Hamilton duel from 2017 to 2019, the two were constantly at loggerheads.

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So, it took us by surprise when Toto Wolff revealed that Ferrari tried to come to their rescue in Monaco. The well-documented problem that the Silver Arrows were facing was down to a wheel nut.

This component was damaged while the mechanic tried to take off Valtteri Bottas‘ front-right tire during a routine pit stop when he was running second in the race.

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Not only did it cause his retirement from the race, but they couldn’t get that wheel off the car altogether. Since the wheel gun was not redundant, they needed ‘heavier tools’ to remove the nut by sheer force. However, these types of equipment were not part of their toolbox in Monaco. Up stepped Ferrari:

“Ferrari helped us with somewhat heavier tools, a hammer, and a saw,” said Toto Wolff. (Quotes translated from Dutch using Google)

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – AUGUST 04: Charles Leclerc of Ferrari and France during the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on August 04, 2019 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Peter J Fox/Getty Images)

Despite the Italian outfit’s sincere efforts, they couldn’t help them in removing the nut. Ultimately, they need a drilling machine, which Mercedes have at their Brackley factory to cut through the nut and remove the tire, as was revealed by Technical Director, James Allison.

Wolff stops short of blaming Bottas for causing Mercedes heartache in Monaco

Right after the race, Wolff tried not to play the blame game. He defended the mechanic who was working on that wheel. The Austrian called this mechanic “one of the best and fittest technicians we have.”

So it was quite shocking when he mentioned Bottas in this discussion. As if the driver was not already dismayed with his rotten luck, he remarked –

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“It was not perfectly in place in the pits, so the mechanic had to put the wheel gun on it at an angle too.”

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This comes after he promised to review the design of their wheel nut. But he is clearly throwing part of the responsibility for this unfortunate incident on Bottas. It remains to be seen how the calm and collective Finn responds to this.

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Bharat Aggarwal

755 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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