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Wolff hoping that bid for sixth title will not alienate fans

NEWS STORY
05/01/2019

Having become only the second team in the history of Formula One to score five successive constructor (and driver) titles, Mercedes is now hoping to match Ferrari by extending that run to six, the Italian manufacturer having won the team championship from 1999 to 2004.

However, team boss Toto Wolff is aware that much like when Ferrari (and Michael Schumacher) was constantly winning, it tends to have a negative effect on the fans who will end up cheering for the underdog.

Though Mercedes has tended to play down its chances in recent years to the point of tedium, there were times during the course of last season when the German team really did appear to be in danger of losing its crown.

"I think it is in the nature of the fan that you cheer for the underdog," Wolff tells Reuters. "Serial winners lose a little bit of appeal.

"What we are trying to do is to approach our sport and our participation with modesty and humility, not take anything for granted," he adds, "we should never ever have a feeling of entitlement of winning.

"You can, to a certain degree, if you stay true to these values continue to grow your fan following and continue to have the fans cheering for you although you have won a few times in a row," he insists.

Other than heading into 2019 with the possibility of achieving that sixth successive constructors' title, Lewis Hamilton has the opportunity to further close in on Michael Schumacher's record of 91 victories and seven titles.

"You will have two groups; the ones that are cheering for our competitors, hoping that Mercedes are not going to achieve that, and then you will have a large group also that's going to say 'well, this is pretty exciting, are Mercedes going to be able to top Ferrari's record? is Lewis Hamilton going to be able to match Michael Schumacher's record?'," adds the Austrian. "It's another interesting angle of the Formula One narrative."

"We are very motivated by having equalled the Ferrari all-time record of five consecutive double championships and there's a sixth one that is there."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by USA1, 06/01/2019 17:23

"I don’t know but I do have a feeling that 2019 will not be a Mercedes year, let’s wait and see I guess!!"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Fambank, 06/01/2019 11:14

"@Uffen you are right about they don't have the funds, but cannot believe that there are not enough multinationals on this planet that could be persuaded into investing big time and above all, for a period
like a decade into an F1 team.

But I am not hindered by any knowledge on that matter, not that that seems to matter when you are
in F1 :p"

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3. Posted by The edge, 06/01/2019 9:59

"I’m happy with it, despite being a McLaren fan I don’t think any other team deserves to win it right now. Far too many bad attitudes in the sport right now and I don’t like people with bad attitudes. Mercedes have morals principles and stands by them. I like that in them & wish them luck"

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4. Posted by Uffen, 06/01/2019 0:47

"Yes, Fambank, you're correct, the others must make up the difference. Unfortunately, for many of them the funds are not available for them to do so.
It's not so much the overall number of titles, it's the number of consecutive titles that rankles. You're among many who have lost interest. "

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5. Posted by Fambank, 05/01/2019 19:38

"You cannot blame Mercedes or any team for the fact that they try to do their absolute maximum to win, and win as much as possible. It's up to the rest of the field to work harder so they can win too. Having said that, during the latter stages of the Schumacher reign, I lost complete interest in F1 an didnt watch for a few years. "

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