Toto Wolff’s Message to Mercedes During Tough Period

Since the implementation of new technical regulations for the 2022 season, Mercedes has faced setbacks in the Formula 1 hierarchy. Despite this, team principal Toto Wolff has delivered a resounding message of unity to his team during what he describes as a “brutally painful” period in Formula 1.

The Brackley-based team has encountered significant challenges in the current F1 campaign, grappling with the demands of the latest generation of cars.

Their difficulties were evident in the recent Australian Grand Prix, where Lewis Hamilton’s hopes were dashed by an early Power Unit failure, while George Russell’s pursuit of Fernando Alonso ended in a crash on the penultimate lap, leaving Mercedes empty-handed in terms of points.

The team’s struggle to consistently vie for the top positions in F1 can be traced back to the introduction of the new technical regulations. Nevertheless, Wolff commended the resilience displayed by the Mercedes squad in the face of adversity.

“When I look at the positives, I think we took many potential root causes out of the equation,” he said to the media.

“We weren’t sure about our suspension, we weren’t sure about the stiffness of our gearbox carrier we had a vibrating steering rack and all of those things have disappeared.

“But fundamentally, whatever we see in the tunnel doesn’t correlate with what’s happening on the track.

“It is not a single person that says, ‘I would interpret that data this way’ and because of dogmatism, we’re not making any progress.

“I don’t see dogmatism. I see an open environment where people share, where people take themselves by the nose and say, ‘Maybe in my area we are making mistakes’.”

Since 2013, Wolff has led Mercedes’ F1 team, guiding its operations throughout its championship-winning streak from 2014 to 2021.

During the team’s challenges with the present car, Wolff emphasized that Mercedes’ worries stem from fundamental issues concerning their competitors.

“It’s so tough in my career, in everything I’ve done before, be it in finance and investment, you know which screws to turn and you know sometimes it takes time,” he stated.

“Back in my Williams days, I knew what was missing, but here, I don’t think we are missing something. It is just a complication of what’s happening with the car that we can’t see. It’s like an on-off switch.”

Wolff acknowledged that Mercedes has not made as significant strides as its competitors over the winter break.

He stated: “Then you see the progress that McLaren and Ferrari have made, this is the difference between last year and this year.

“[Australia] was a pretty good weekend for us last year. I saw a clip because I forgot we were leading at the beginning in 1-2. So, we’ve got to really dig deep because it is brutally painful.”