You Woke up the ‘Lion’, Toto Wolff Fires a Warning to Red Bull F1 After Lewis Hamilton’s Qatar GP Win

Published 11/21/2021, 12:56 PM EST
Formula One F1 – Brazilian Grand Prix – Jose Carlos Pace Circuit, Sao Paulo, Brazil – November 12, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton arrives at the circuit ahead of practice REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli


So it’s true. Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton’s pace advantage from Brazil wasn’t a fluke (or something else). The Silver Arrows and especially their marquee driver are simply gaining and gaining, on and off-track on their rivals. And with their current superiority, Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff sent a good ‘headline worthy’ warning to their rivals.

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After Hamilton comfortably won in the Qatar Grand Prix, Toto Wolff attributed his recent performances to the controversial and drama-filled weekend in Brazil.

 “Lewis is totally in the zone … the lion got woken up, at Interlagos on that Saturday, and you can see that,” Wolff said.

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Of course, everyone can see that even their rivals, as Christian Horner said, “Mercedes had a quicker car than us today,”

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates winning a 7th F1 World Drivers Championship with Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Turkey at Intercity Istanbul Park in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Qatar was good but could’ve been better for Toto Wolff and co.

While Lewis Hamilton started the race on pole and finished in first, the other Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas was dealt with a grid penalty.

However, Bottas fell further behind the pack rather early and took some laps to find his groove as he made his way up. But as he was charging forward towards P2 past the midpoint in the race, he suffered a puncture in his front left. This put him back where he was in the opening laps.

Bottas eventually had to retire from the race.

Speaking of his puncture, Toto Wolff revealed the puncture was as surprising to them as it was for probably everyone else.

“It came out of nowhere. There was literally no indication [in the data] … unfortunately for him, he was the first one to pick up the puncture,” Wolff said.

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With Hamilton closing the gaps to eight points to his rival and Mercedes maintaining their lead over Red Bull, the next race will be a crucial one for both teams.

Wolff suggests Saudi Arabia should be a ‘good track’ for them as they’ll get their ‘spicy equipment‘ out.

“.. it’s a long straight, we’ll get our ‘spicy’ equipment out.”

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Whether this is a sarcastic dig by a finally calm Toto Wolff or they really have some special setups for Jeddah, there’s absolutely no doubt that this season is one for the ages and it is surely heading down to the last race in Abu Dhabi.

Also Read: ‘Proud Moment for Me’ – Toto Wolff Takes On a New Challenging Role

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Shaharyar

203 articles

Shaharyar is a Formula 1 & NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Journalism from Amity University, he has been a passionate follower of motorsports for better part of the decade. A Max Verstappen and Ferrari supporter, he dreams of a pairing of the two in future.

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