Talk of a rift at the top of Mercedes F1 team 'rubbish' - Toto Wolff

Toto Wolff has described rumours of a fallout with Niki Lauda and suggestions the three-time Formula 1 champion will quit Mercedes as "rubbish" and "laughable"

Talk of a rift at the top of Mercedes F1 team 'rubbish' - Toto Wolff

Stories emerged over the course of the final weekend of the season in Abu Dhabi that there was no love lost between Mercedes motorsport boss Wolff and non-executive chairman Lauda.

The duo initially made light of the gossip by posing for a picture at the Yas Marina circuit holding hands as they walked down the paddock.

Now Wolff has laid to rest the speculation regarding his relationship with Lauda and the prospects of his fellow Austrian leaving the team.

"The story about Niki is nonsense, rubbish, one that somebody has felt they need to put out there," Wolff told Autosport at a celebratory event in Kuala Lumpur organised by team sponsor Petronas.

"In every successful organisation you will have different viewpoints and angles, and it is not only between Niki and myself, but between many of us that at times we have heated discussions.

"In the end we are all sharing the same objective, to make the team as successful as possible, and on a platform that is functional.

"But some of the things out there over that weekend were so laughable that we felt we wanted to counter with an equally stupid little picture, with us holding hands."

Wolff concedes his viewpoint has altered over time about negative stories in F1, but he still feels there are some that go too far, and are potentially damaging.

"I've changed my opinion of Formula 1," added Wolff.

"I was a very engaged and emotional stakeholder of the business, and thought that talking the sport down was not right for Formula 1.

"I've changed my mind, and now the controversy off-track, some of the stuff you read in the newspapers is still causing headlines, so maybe that is a necessary part of Formula 1, and how it's always been.

"But with some of the things you read, it's been taken to a new level.

"It almost feels like people forget they are stakeholders and ambassadors of the sport.

"The stories you read are a distortion of the facts, almost to a point that they are starting to be detrimental to the sport and could be affecting audiences."

shares
comments
Lotus F1 team prepares for High Court appearance on Monday

Previous article

Lotus F1 team prepares for High Court appearance on Monday

Next article

McLaren tests a 17-year-old

McLaren tests a 17-year-old
Load comments
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. On the 50th anniversary of his death, Autosport recalls the career of an F1 and sportscar ace gone before his time

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021