Wolff: "Against all odds" F1 fight with Red Bull will only make Mercedes stronger

Toto Wolff says Mercedes’ current fight “against all odds” with Red Bull in the Formula 1 title battle will only serve to make the team stronger in the long run.

Wolff: "Against all odds" F1 fight with Red Bull will only make Mercedes stronger

Red Bull has won the past five races to open up a lead at the top of both championships, with Max Verstappen sitting 32 points clear of Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ standings.

Red Bull’s constructors’ championship lead stands at 44 points after pulling further clear with a dominant victory for Verstappen at the Austrian Grand Prix last weekend, during which he lead every single lap for the second race in a row.

Mercedes has struggled to match the performance of the Red Bull RB16B car in recent races, leading to Hamilton to call for an upgrade in a bid to help his hopes of an eighth world title.

The final updates for the Mercedes W12 car will arrive at the British Grand Prix next weekend, and will be crucial for the team in its hopes of bridging the gap to Red Bull.

But team principal Toto Wolff said the fight with Red Bull was serving as an “enjoyable life experiment” to Mercedes, which has won every F1 world title since the V6 hybrid era began in 2014, and would only serve to make the team stronger.

“We have a great mindset in the team, and the values that we have are the immune system of the team,” Wolff said.

“The immune system means you need to function when things are going bad and, after seven consecutive championships, we are in a situation where we are fighting a tough battle at the moment, against all odds, as it stands.

“I wouldn’t say enjoyable is the right word, but it’s a new experience that’s going to make us stronger in the long run.

“Every day is a new learning experience, and every day makes us stronger, even if we have so many consecutive weekends that are tough.

“I think we will look back many years from now and say that was necessary.”

Toto Wolff, team principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG, is interviewed

Toto Wolff, team principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG, is interviewed

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Wolff has already made it clear that Mercedes will not deviate from its plan to halt development on the 2021 car due to the importance of the 2022 regulations and the upcoming cycle starting next year.

But, with only nine of the 23 races planned for this year completed, Wolff stressed that Mercedes would not be panicking about the title race with so much of the season to still complete.

"All these years I tried to keep our feet on the ground by not being carried away with performance, and now I need to do the opposite,” Wolff said after the race in Austria.

“We are not going to give up at that stage of the season. We’re not going to give up at any time of the season, unless it’s not mathematically possible any more to win this championship.

“Therefore, we need to see the things optimistically rather than pessimistically like we’ve done in the past, and there are things to take away, even from such a day as today.”

shares
comments

Related video

Capito pleased by Williams disappointment at F1 Austrian GP
Previous article

Capito pleased by Williams disappointment at F1 Austrian GP

Next article

Remembering Mexico's greatest F1 driver

Remembering Mexico's greatest F1 driver
Load comments
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Plus

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Autosport heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022