Wolff's wise words


Formula Money's Christian Sylt recently unearthed an interview he carried out with Toto Wolff in 2015, just one year after the introduction of the hybrid formula that Mercedes has pretty much dominated.

At a time his team looks set for its sixth successive title(s), having begun the season with a historic run of five consecutive 1-2s, leaving many predicting (fearing?) it could win every round of the championship, his words from 2015 seem most apt.

"In terms of the spectacle, a team winning over a long period is definitely detrimental to the spectacle," he admits. "We have seen that with the six years at Ferrari in the early 2000s. We have seen that with Red Bull four years in a row.

"So it is the second year for us. It doesn't help the show, that's clear. So if you are Bernie, it doesn't help but it's not my role. My role is keeping on winning.

"I have only one hat on and the hat on is trying to develop the team, making a sustainable frontrunner and a race winning team. That's the target actually because you won't win the championship every year. Nonetheless, you need to build a sustainable organisation which is a dynamic organisation which reinvents itself every now and then and is a competitive part of the championship able to deliver race winning cars every season."

Talking about the Mercedes ethos, he says: "Mercedes is a bit different because what we do is of the very DNA of the company. The first Mercedes ever was a racing car and the board today and the decision-makers today understand the historic importance and the importance to the brand to be in motorsports and the way we have set up the organisation today with Daimler as being the majority shareholder but with minority shareholders who manage the business, we have a structure in place which enables us to stay long term in the sport.

"Nevertheless, you must not forget, you have three scenarios; you win and you continue to win and you lose and you are so-so. All three could potentially trigger somebody to decide we have had enough.

"So permanently winning does not automatically trigger leaving more than permanently losing or being so-so. So I think it is just understanding the importance of racing for Mercedes and making the most of the opportunity.

"Where we are today it is about continuity, it is about rebuilding the historic successes of Mercedes in motor racing."

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Published: 16/05/2019
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