Wolff: Mercedes adopt ‘No d***heads’ stance

Jon Wilde
Mercedes celebrate the seventh World Championship for Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes celebrate the seventh World Championship for Lewis Hamilton

Toto Wolff has revealed how a watchword of the All Blacks rugby side has helped to foster the team ethic driving Mercedes’ remarkable F1 success.

Mercedes have won seven consecutive constructors’ and drivers’ World Championships, six of the individual titles going to Lewis Hamilton and the other to Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton invariably pays tribute to the team whenever he has won a race or secured pole position and Wolff also hails the collective effort of everyone involved at the track and back in the factory.

And the Austrian believes that leaving egos at the door is the key, with that policy having been adopted by the New Zealand rugby union XV who are so widely admired.

“We have a sports psychologist in the team called Ceri Evans who is also the sports psychologist for the All Blacks,” said Wolff in an interview on the Formula 1 website.

“One of the mottos for the All Blacks is ‘No d***heads’ and we kind of took that philosophy to us as well.

“We care for each other in the team and I think this is being felt.

“But it’s not all schmoozing and we are all so happy with each other, there’s also a way of coping with pressure. It’s a safe environment.

“We have no hire-and-fire policy, we don’t blame each other. It can be heated, and that’s very important, diversity of opinion. But it never leads to a situation where we fall out with each other.

“If we fall out, at the beginning, that means the characters didn’t fit to each other.”

Lewis Hamilton Toto Wolff Turkish GP

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Wolff also explained how the empathy with his colleagues had permeated into his social life after moving to Oxford, around 20 miles from Mercedes’ base at Brackley.

“There is a lot of camaraderie, I would call it,” said the 48-year-old.

“I had a weird situation in 2015 when I moved to the UK and for my birthday on January 12th my wife Suzie said ‘who do you want to invite?’.

“The only people I could imagine inviting were my close confidants in the team. We ended up having a dinner with 10 or more colleagues of mine and their wives, and that shows how close we were straight from the get-go.

“I have a real interest in the people. I like to spend a lot of time with them, understanding their struggles, their worries and also what motivates and challenges them.”

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