Wolff Applauds Ferrari’s Melbourne Triumph

Carlos Sainz triumphed over Charles Leclerc in a surprising 1-2 finish at the recent Australian Grand Prix, following Max Verstappen’s exit from the race due to a rear brake malfunction.

Toto Wolff, the head of Mercedes, has voiced his acknowledgment that Ferrari and Fred Vasseur have earned their triumph at the Australian Grand Prix, following a challenging 2023 season.

Despite being absent from the previous race due to appendicitis surgery, Carlos Sainz displayed an exceptional performance, clinching victory at the Australian Grand Prix.

The Spanish driver commenced the race in second position, swiftly overtaking Max Verstappen on the second lap, ultimately leading Charles Leclerc to secure Ferrari’s initial 1-2 finish since the Bahrain Grand Prix of 2022.

Notably, Leclerc’s victory in Melbourne marked the first non-Red Bull triumph since his win at the Singapore Grand Prix in 2023. This year’s Grand Prix unfolded far more favorably for Ferrari compared to the previous edition.

In 2023, Leclerc’s race concluded abruptly with a crash on the opening lap, while Sainz could only secure fourth place. Nevertheless, Sainz’s fortunes took a downturn as he plummeted to 12th position after incurring a post-race five-second penalty for a collision.

Wolff, a longstanding friend of Ferrari’s team principal Vasseur, expressed his belief that Vasseur and Ferrari merited their success at the recent Grand Prix. He also referenced Vasseur’s injury during the lead-up to last year’s race in Melbourne.

“First of all, I’m happy for Ferrari,” Wolff said. “I’m happy for Fred. He deserves that.

“Last year, we were flying together and on the flight, Dubai to Melbourne [with] Emirates, he had a disc [in his spine] that jumped out and he couldn’t sit or sleep. He was standing in the airplane for 13 hours.

“Then, one of his cars crashed out and the other one finished P4, and it looked disastrous. He had the pressure for all of Italy and now he’s had a 1-2.”

While Ferrari celebrated their victory, Mercedes encountered further setbacks, with Lewis Hamilton suffering an engine failure and George Russell enduring a significant crash on the final lap.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton is set to join the Scuderia for the 2025 season. Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz, the winner of the Australian Grand Prix, remains without a confirmed seat for 2025, amid rumors linking him to a potential move to Mercedes.

Despite expressing dissatisfaction with Mercedes’ performance this season, Wolff did not hesitate to acknowledge the deserving nature of Ferrari’s success: “As much as I hate our situation, [Vasseur] deserves that. Ferrari deserves that. And Italy deserves it.

“Carlos deserves it – after not only the appendix but also basically being told ‘You’re not here anymore’. And bang! You can see what some human power can do when it needs to.”

Wolff has left the door open for the possibility of the Spaniard joining Mercedes for the 2025 season. Sainz humorously remarked that he is still “jobless” for 2025. Nonetheless, there is a prevailing sentiment that the 29-year-old will effortlessly secure a seat for the upcoming year.