Toto Wolff admits difficulty of keeping ‘no d**kheads’ mentality during Mercedes struggles

Sam Cooper
Toto Wolff looking down. Spa, Belgium. July 2023

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff in the paddock at the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix.

Toto Wolff has insisted he is sticking with his no-blame culture even after Mercedes’ period of dominance is over.

In his more than decade-long stint at the helm of the Mercedes team, Wolff has installed an ethos that is borrowed from the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team – no d**kheads.

But while it is easy to enforce a mantra like that when you are winning, it becomes somewhat harder once your performance drops, a situation Wolff and Mercedes have found themselves in since the start of 2022.

Toto Wolff avoiding pointing the finger of blame

Even as Mercedes take a backseat behind Red Bull, Wolff has continued to avoid pointing the finger at his own team, instead taking the blame himself.

Asked whether he found it harder to do that now the team was underperforming, Wolff said that he is constantly reminding himself to keep the positive mindset.

“I think human reaction is always when something goes wrong, you want to say it’s your fault because that allows us to get pressure off us,” he told media including “It’s something that we actively debate.

“But clearly when things are rosy, you can live up to those standards but sometimes it goes terribly wrong, which happened to us last year and also in some instances this year.

“You just need to remind yourself constantly about that mindset and those values, that you blame the problem and not the person.” recommends

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As the head of the operation, Wolff was also willing to accept that any problem was ultimately his fault and that he is far more interested in working to fix the problem then handing out blame.

“Fundamentally, it’s all my fault. If we have a bad pit stop, it’s not because the mechanic has just underperformed, it’s because his equipment is not up to the job or the training hasn’t been good enough or the wheel nuts are not how they should be.

“So at the end, you can always trace where the problem is. Generally, it is up to us to develop the person so the person can overcome these tests in the road. That’s why we ran the programme and we have stuck to it.”

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