Toto Wolff Explains Why Mercedes’ Debriefs Sounds Like a ‘Williams Meeting’

Published 06/15/2021, 1:30 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ Team Principal Toto Wolff during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES


The last two races have not been particularly fruitful for Mercedes. Neither Mercedes could deliver a good result at either Monaco or Azerbaijan. Naturally, the post-race debriefs would have been pretty awkward. Especially considering that Mercedes missed out on scoring a double-points finish on both occasions.

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In all honesty though, Toto Wolff and Mercedes have adopted a straightforward approach. In other words, when they perform their post-race analysis, they bring everything to the table. To be precise, they do not believe in brushing everything under the carpet because it can only weaken the team.

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” If you listen to a debrief after a weekend where we finish first and second, you will think it’s a Williams meeting about how she got last, ” Wolff said. “ I’m not saying this in an arrogant way, it’s just our culture: to always be skeptical, to never be good enough. So we stay alert to maintain our success and this process starts where, sometimes, it hurts.

Why Mercedes have adopted this approach?

According to Wolff, the most important thing for the team is brutal transparency. He insisted that the German giants need to learn from mistakes, no matter how painful they are. This is because the most disappointing races can help them grow the most. This is why he and the team need to make a brutal analysis of their races.

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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

Only then can they implement the lessons learned for the next race. At the same time, they can incorporate it for the future development of each component of their car. This is why the Mercedes team boss was really insistent about encouraging a culture of intra-team transparency.

At the end of the day, everyone in the team share the same goal and want to create a safe environment. Similarly, they want to use the power of people’s collective intelligence to solve problems. For now, all that Mercedes can do is put its head down and charge during the next race, in France this weekend.

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Dhruv George

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Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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