Toto Wolff Reveals Mercedes “Didn’t Look Like a Formula One Team” on His First Visit

April 6, 2021 4:03 pm

Toto Wolff has been the man leading Mercedes since 2013. During his tenure as team principal, the Silver Arrows have won seven consecutive championships. Wolff opens up about the time he visited the team’s office prior to joining them and was shocked by what he saw.

Wolff has been around the grid for quite some time now. Back in 2009, the Austrian boss had invested in the Williams Formula One team, and three years down the line he became Executive director of the team.

In December 2020, it was announced that the Austrian boss has extended his stay with the Brackley-based team for another three years. In 2021 Mercedes will keep their eye on their eighth title and who better than Wolff to lead them to their goal.

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN – APRIL 26: Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff talks in the Team Principals Press Conference during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Azerbaijan at Baku City Circuit on April 26, 2019 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Toto Wolff says that Mercedes didn’t look like an F1 team when he joined

In an episode of the High Performance Podcast, the team principal said,  “When I walked in the first time into Mercedes. It wasn’t what I wanted to be.” When asked what did he want it to be? he replied. “I mean the first day I walked in. I arrived in the reception and I sat down in the reception, and it didn’t look like a Formula One team.”

Wolff added, “There was an old Daily Mail from the previous week and coffee cups that had dry coffee. I couldn’t believe it that this was the Mercedes Formula One team. And now you may say how do dry coffee cups or an old Daily Mail, Impact on the performance of a Formula One team? But it shows attitude, it shows attention to details.”

“And I think this is most important for a high impact team and all these soft factors that many will ignore, because it’s not data, it’s not aerodynamics, it’s not vehicle dynamics. It doesn’t make a car fast, but all that is part of the values of a team.”

“And if everybody runs in the same directions, everybody acknowledges that the attention to detail is important, then eventually the wheel is going to gain some momentum. And so that was my first experience of Mercedes as well.” Wolff concluded.

Red Bull is a threat, says team principal, Wolff

The raging bulls have always been on the tail of the Silver Arrows. The most recent encounter was in the opening race in Bahrain, Verstappen was on pole and favorite to win the race. However, with a little bit of luck and some great driving by Sir Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes were victorious that day.

Wolff said,  “In the past, Bahrain has not been a strong race for Red Bull and they have not been particularly good out of the blocks either, but this weekend shows that in 2021 that is no longer the case.”

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in action during the race REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

“I have no doubt they are extremely difficult to beat and are leading the pack. We have not suddenly found some awesome performance but the win was a combination of good race strategy, a solid race car and being fortunate at the end. The racing gods were on our side.”

The second round of the season takes us to Imola for the Italian Grand Prix. Can Mercedes keep Red Bull in the rearview mirrors or will they catch up to them and become obstacles in their way as Mercedes’s eye another title?

Also Read : Would Never Allow a Lewis Hamilton-Nico Rosberg Situation at Mercedes Again: Wolff



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Arpit Gomes

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. When he's not writing about F1 or watching Drive to Survive, Arpit can be found producing documentary films.

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