Will Poor Baku F1 Showing Force Mercedes to Alter Plans for 2022? Toto Wolff Responds

Published 06/09/2021, 6:15 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 5, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in action during qualifying REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

Mercedes AMG have had a bumpy start to the 2021 F1 season, with their rivals, Red Bull Racing, keen on playing spoilsport over each of the race weekends. After embracing sheer dominance over the past 7 years, the Stuttgart outfit have found themselves struggling for pace against the much pacier raging bulls.


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Hence, amidst the rising fear of losing their first constructor’s trophy since 2014, will Mercedes change their approach towards the ongoing season in a bid to turn around the fortunes? Well, Toto Wolff doesn’t think so.

The Austrian reckoned that any change of approach to this season could potentially affect the plans that are set for the game-changing 2022 season.


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What did Toto Wolff say?

As reported by Racing News 365, Wolff clarified that Mercedes will continue to support their plans for 2021, rather than backing out of it. He further opined that the past two race weekends were Mercedes’ weakest circuits, and the struggles were always imminent.

We already readjusted the plan to 2022,” he said. “And there is no way of backing out of it. We will not change any decisions that we have taken, strategic decisions just because we had two really bad race weekends.

Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 5, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton reacts after qualifying in second position Pool via REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

We knew that these two race tracks are probably the worst for us and I hope I’m right with that assessment. Let’s see how the European races go now but, clearly, these two were absolutely below the standard that we set ourselves and the expectations that we set ourselves.

Out of Monaco and Baku, Mercedes managed to churn out a measly 7 points using Lewis Hamilton. Meanwhile, Red Bull dominated through both the race weekends, securing 62 points, which ultimately saw them climb to the top of the constructor’s table, opening up a massive lead of 26 points to the defending champions.


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Mercedes’ performance not acceptable: Wolff

The Mercedes boss is eager to put an end to his team’s brief yet terrible run of form.

“There’s just so much that we need to improve that I just want to get on it right now in order to make sure that we were actually able to compete for this championship. We can’t continue losing points like we’ve done in Monaco and here. It’s just not acceptable for all of us.”


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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

Mercedes could heave a sigh of relief, as the following race weekends could play in the hands of their two drivers, Hamilton and Bottas.

Of course, France has always been Mercedes’ one of the strongest suits. But what follows France is a double-header in Austria. Despite posing as a home for Red Bull, the Red Bull Ring has quite a history of flourishing results with the German outfit. Hence, can Mercedes turn things around over the upcoming race weekends?


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Rohit Kumar

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Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.