Vettel in a Ferrari: Wolff Downplays Red Bull’s Charge on Mercedes F1 As ‘Day-to-Day Business’

Published 11/04/2021, 1:27 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 24, 2021 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


Mercedes is famed for its decade-long reign in F1. However, what has now been reputed as the best rivalry of the decade, is nothing new for the Silver Arrows. Years of domination have seen many try to overthrow the three-pronged star. Toto Wolff plays down the intensity of the 2021 fight between Mercedes and Red Bull, claiming it to be nothing they haven’t seen before.

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In a recent interview, Wolff likened the battle at hand to Mercedes’ challengers in Red- Ferrari, and Vettel. “It is true that we had this experience in-house for many years. But it wasn’t that long ago that Sebastian Vettel was a competitor in the Ferrari who was even ahead before the summer break.”

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Using the Ferrari-Vettel era as a point of comparison, Wolff explained why Red Bull‘s challenge is almost mundane. “The current situation is not a new one for us. Even if it is puffed up into a king’s fight, which is normal day-to-day business for us.”

It has been a thrilling rivalry this season, especially with the result being unpredictable. However, Vettel’s battle with Hamilton was almost just as entertaining. However, the stakes are so much higher this time around.

Max Verstappen, with no titles to his name, has a 12 point lead over Lewis Hamilton, a heavyweight of the sport. Additionally, while Max looks to get his first title, Hamilton has his eyes set on making history with an eighth.

Toto Wolff is confident about Mercedes’ triumph

The Mercedes frontman is undeterred by the pressures of the championship. This is because of his confidence in the Brackley team. Having been in the game for so long brings a sense of stability for Wolff.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium with the trophy after winning the race REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

“We now have a good car that we understand better than before. Our advantage is that we no longer have to prove anything. That makes it easy for us to act… We have built enough self-confidence for this situation.”

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However, this isn’t to say he is unaware of the challenge ahead of him. With the lead switching almost every race, Wolff knows it could be anyone’s triumph. “The back and forth will probably last until the final… So, nothing is fixed.”

Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 24, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during the race REUTERS/Mike Blake

While Wolff remains calm about the final five rounds, F1 cannot wait for history to be made. Either Lewis Hamilton breaks Michael Schumacher’s record, thus cementing his legacy, or Max Verstappen will hoist the Red Bull flag on what was once Mercedes’ playground.

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Watch this story: Ugliest Moments in Hamilton-Rosberg Rivalry

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Shreya Sanjeev

612 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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