Toto Wolff Explains Why Red Bull’s Championship Lead ‘Suits’ Mercedes in F1 Title Fight

Published 05/28/2021, 11:07 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 9, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen leads Mercedes’Lewis Hamilton at the start of the race REUTERS/Albert Gea


After the Monaco Grand Prix, the Red Bull team and Max Verstappen seized victory. In the process, they took over the lead in the drivers’ and constructors’ championships. Surprisingly, the Mercedes team are not hitting the panic button just yet, but are relishing the chance to chase.

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According to Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, “But if you can’t make any more mistakes because Lewis is at the height of his capabilities, then there is a new challenge that he has not yet seen in Formula 1. It is much easier to be a hunter. That is why the situation suits us.

“Red Bull cannot deny the role of favorites. That is the reality,” he continued. “Max should have won in Bahrain if Lewis hadn’t driven so incredibly.”

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What else did the Mercedes Team Principal say?

The Austrian recalled the Bahrain Grand Prix. Over there, Verstappen was clearly faster, but he simply ran out of time. On the other end of the scale, if the Dutchman had waited half a lap before attempting to overtake, then Hamilton would have won.

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

Around that time, Max Verstappen swept past the Mercedes driver to snatch the lead. The bad news was that he was forced to go off the track while overtaking.

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In order to avoid a penalty, he surrendered the position back to the defending champion. Sadly, once Hamilton got the lead again, he took off, and that was the last time anyone got close to him.

Toto Wolff even brought up the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola. In that situation, the Dutch driver made a mistake in the qualifying session and had his lap time deleted.

As a result, Hamilton was able to capitalize in qualifying; although Verstappen got him back in the race, that is another story.

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Dhruv George

11601 articles

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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