Toto Wolff Refutes Any Possibility of Mercedes F1 Going the Red Bull Way for 2021

Published 04/11/2021, 7:58 AM EDT
MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 04: Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff talks in a press conference during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza in Monza, Italy. (Photo by XPB/Pool via Getty Images)


Red Bull and Mercedes are arch-rivals on the F1 grid, both trying to defeat each other. In the opening weekend of the season in Bahrain, Red Bull were favorites to win, as Verstappen got pole for Sunday’s race. While Mercedes won the race, it was evident that Red Bull had the better car. However, Toto Wolff has stated Mercedes won’t copy their rival’s rake dynamics just to get ahead.

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The Brackley-based squad won in Bahrain thanks to a bit of luck and some brilliant driving by Sir Lewis Hamilton. The Knight had an intense battle with Red Bull prodigy Verstappen during the closing laps of the race. But it was the seven-time champion who came out on top.

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

Toto Wolff says Mercedes won’t copy Red Bull just to get ahead of the pack

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The Austrian boss said, “First of all, I don’t think the rake is the only singular effect that we may be suffering from. These news tyres that we are racing in 2021 [are also a factor]. Our analyses have shown that the higher rake concept has lost less downforce than the lower rake one and in the last year of these regulations, we wouldn’t be able to replicate the concept that Red Bull and some of the other teams have been racing.”

Wolff added, “It’s physically not possible. We couldn’t run our suspensions and settings in the way that Red Bull does and so we need to do the best out of it and tune the car to what we have available.”

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 26, 2021 Mercedes’ Team Principal Toto Wolff with Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

“It’s maybe more difficult for us to recover some of the lost downforce, but so far, what I’ve seen, and what I hope is that we can have a really tough fight [with Red Bull], “ he concluded.

The Silver Arrows are well aware of the pace that the Raging Bull have

The Bahrain Grand Prix was one of the most thrilling races that we have watched in recent times. Wolff has stated that the circuit never has been Milton-Keynes’s strongest point.

Wolff said, “Bahrain was always not the strongest race for Red Bull and also they haven’t been particularly good out of the blocks [at the start of seasons] and this weekend shows that that is not the case anymore in 2021. So I have no doubt that they are extremely difficult to beat. They are the ones that are leading the pack.”

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

“The racing gods were on our side, and that’s why [we won]. It’s not that we have found suddenly some awesome performance. It was a combination of great strategy, a solid race car, and then just being fortunate at the end,” Wolff concluded.

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The next stop is at Imola, for the Italian Grand Prix. Can Mercedes manage to keep their rivals in the rearview mirrors and claim the championship, or will the Austrian outfit manage to get the edge of the Brackley squad? We will get our answers in a week’s time.

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Arpit Gomes

653 articles

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.

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