Wolff: ‘Sacrifices’ for F1 titles taking a toll

Jamie Woodhouse
Mercedes celebrate their seventh consecutive constructors' World Championship

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff says that their continued dominance of the sport is taking a toll on everyone within the team.

The Silver Arrows have secured their seventh Constructors’ Championship in a row, the longest streak in Formula 1 history, and that will soon become seven Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles in a row with Lewis Hamilton closing in fast on a record-equalling seventh World Championship.

But, Wolff said all this success is taking its toll on the team, making it clear that there are plenty of “sacrifices” going on behind the scenes which mean it isn’t a case of rocking up at the track and winning.

“It has not only taken a toll on myself, but it has taken a toll on everybody who is involved in the project,” he told Motorsport.com.

“Blood, sweat and tears, that is going on behind closed doors, but you never see that. It seems like that we are rocking up on track and winning races, but the truth is there is so much sacrifice behind that on such an afternoon [when you win], it just compensates for everything.”

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Wolff has said that the aim for Mercedes was to win one Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship, but their pursuit turned into an inspiration for something far greater.

“You know the story with all of our tree hugging exercises in 2014, when we put the objective on the wall that we aim to win a Drivers’ and Constructors’ World Championship,” he said.

“And [former engineering director] Aldo Costa said, ‘I don’t think that’s ambitious enough. We should write on the wall: we aim to win multiple driver and constructor World Championships.’

“We felt at the time that it was a bit far fetched. But thank God we put it up on the wall, because it continues to inspire us. And every single season it has inspired us.

“It means a lot of thinking and a lot of dreaming about what we could achieve in the future. Setting those objectives as a team and personal objectives is an important part of our exercise.”

Wolff’s future with Mercedes is far from certain with the Austrian out of contract as team principal come the end of 2020, while their star driver Hamilton is also set to become a free agent.

All signs pointed towards the Briton signing a new deal once the titles were wrapped up, but after the Emilia Romagna GP he hinted that he could call it quits at the end of the year.

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