Toto Wolff claimed, amid Mercedes’ 2022 crisis in Formula 1, that he would not hesitate to step aside if he deems it necessary for the interest of the team.
Wolff has lead the Mercedes since 2013, as the team became a juggernaut dominating the F1 scene from the start of the Turbo-hybrid era in 2014, winning seven Drivers’ Titles and eight Constructors’.
In 2021, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to the F1 Drivers’ crown as Mercedes retained their Constructors Title, but 2022 has been a stark contrast from the team’s previous campaigns as they grapple with a woefully slow car, the W13, with which Hamilton finished the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix last Sunday in 13th place.
As usual questions have been swirling regarding the situation at Mercedes, with some now addressing Wolff’s future and motivation as Mercedes’ team boss in light of their recent struggles.
Wolff commented on these questions saying, as per The Express: “It was to be expected that after so many years the day would come when these questions would arise.
“The ‘coach question’ will not be long in coming, but my shoulders are broad enough for that,” he added.
The Austrian insisted he would be ready to take the brave decision of stepping aside from his team boss role at Mercedes and hand the reins to the right person.
He declared: “I would be the first to admit it and hand the stick to someone who could run faster.”
The question of walking away didn’t cross Wolff’s mind
Wolff was recently asked by the media if he has at any point pondered letting everything go, and retiring in the Maldives, to which he responded: “The problem is that I’m dead in the Maldives without what I’m doing here.
“The activity in the team, developing the team, is what I really enjoy,” he insisted.
“Formula 1 is booming,” Wolff added. “On the revenue side, things are going very well and this is what I actually want to do all my life.
“In that respect, the question hasn’t arisen until now to say: that’s it,” he admitted.
“It would be like a project manager or an employee saying: ‘I’ve done this now, I’ll go out with the best record and that’s it.’ But it doesn’t stop with me. It’s going on,” the 50-year-old explained.
Mercedes all about staying humble
In light of Mercedes’ troubles this year, everyone is wondering how they have dropped the ball so badly, as if they suddenly forgot how to build a fast car. So did they forget?
“My spontaneous answer would be: you can’t unlearn it,” was Wolff’s response. “But then the track teaches us something else.
“It’s also about always staying humble, and that’s what we are, and saying: ‘Shit, we really got it wrong.’ You have to accept that now.
“Where did we go wrong? In my time, we did eight out of eight strikes and now we’ve really gone wrong,” the Mercedes boss reflected. “It’s not like we’re just three tenths off.
“But in terms of our personality development, and the values in our team, as bad as it feels, this is an important development. There is no one who is infallible.
“We’re seeing that right now. But the team is capable of turning things around,” a confident Wolff maintained.