Toto Wolff enforces strict Las Vegas rule for entire Mercedes team

Henry Valantine
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff at the British Grand Prix. Silverstone, July 2023. F1 news

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.

Toto Wolff will put a gambling ban in place at Mercedes throughout the Las Vegas Grand Prix weekend, with focus remaining on the task at hand.

Formula 1 heads to Vegas for the first time in 41 years this weekend, and anticipation is high as the city’s roads are being turned into a new circuit.

But while casinos are aplenty in ‘Sin City’, Wolff said he will make sure his Mercedes staff do not partake in Vegas’ gambling culture will they are there.

Toto Wolff institutes gambling ban at Mercedes in Las Vegas weekend

The race has been heavily marketed as Formula 1 prepares to return to Las Vegas, with quirky features added to the circuit such as playing card suit motifs on the kerbs, along with a licensed wedding chapel being put in place for people to get married in the paddock.

But even though Las Vegas holds a reputation as one of the gambling capitals of the world, Wolff will keep a tight rein on his Mercedes staff in that regard – as there is still a job to do.

“I think everyone is looking forward to the Las Vegas race,” Wolff said, as per the Spanish edition of Motorsport.com.

“Racing in this city is comparable to climbing Everest, hats off to Liberty Media for organising this race.

“I don’t think I’m the only one in Formula 1 who has never been to this city, which is quite difficult to get around.

“We don’t know how to get from the hotel to the circuit and back, but I’m sure we’ll find a solution. I can’t wait for the race to start.

“As I said, I’ve never been to Las Vegas, but we’ll do our best to make sure everyone in the team stays away from the casinos. I don’t gamble and I will make sure no-one else gambles either!”

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As for how Mercedes will perform in Vegas, the cold temperatures predicted for the night race in Nevada have made simulating the conditions tricky for the teams, along with the fact that the track has never been raced upon before.

Along with the fact Mercedes had been expecting to do well at Interlagos last time out before recording a poor result by their standards, Wolff is choosing to not read too much into what the data is telling him at this moment in time.

“I’m not sure I want to rely on the simulations at the moment,” Wolff told reporters in Sao Paulo.

“I think there is an enormous effort that Liberty undertook [with] Las Vegas and I think it’s going to be a tremendous show for the audiences.

“For us, I don’t know what to expect, you can see those swings. You asked me last week and ‘yeah, we’re going to Brazil and this is going to be awesome’, and now we’re going to a track that we haven’t been to even, so I don’t know.”

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