Toto Wolff ‘punch myself’ outburst analysed with Mercedes getting ‘pasted’ in F1 2024

Jamie Woodhouse
Toto Wolff in the Bahrain paddock.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

Both 13-time Grand Prix winner David Coulthard and ex-F1 team boss Eddie Jordan put their support behind Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff after a bruising Australian GP, though Jordan says Mercedes are getting “pasted” and it will hurt Wolff.

Mercedes were looking to bounce back from a difficult couple of seasons with a stronger showing in F1 2024, but despite the belief that there is more performance lurking in the W15, it has been a frustrating start to the campaign for their eight-time Constructors’ champions.

Toto Wolff not solely responsible but Mercedes getting ‘pasted’

While Red Bull and Ferrari have started out F1 2024 as the pacesetters, Red Bull claiming a pair of 1-2 finishes before Ferrari hit back with that achievement in Australia, Mercedes have found themselves adrift of the podium scene, with George Russell’s P5 at the Bahrain season opener their best result so far.

The Australian GP was a particularly bitter pill to swallow for Mercedes, Hamilton retiring with an engine failure before Russell crashed out of P7 while chasing Fernando Alonso, leading Wolff to say he felt like giving himself a “punch on the nose” in this “very, very tough time”.

And while Coulthard says he can understand Wolff’s frustration, he also stressed that Mercedes’ struggles are not something which Wolff can be fully blamed for.

“It was a bad weekend for Mercedes,” said Coulthard on the Formula For Success podcast, “two cars not finishing, very rare engine failure for Lewis Hamilton. And then that accident for George.

“Toto made the comment that he felt that he wanted to punch himself in the nose after getting that double DNF.

“I understand he must be very frustrated, but as a team principal and shareholder, you get the funds in place, you get the people in place, but you’re not actually directly responsible.

“I know it’s one team, but I can’t see how Toto can hold himself singularly responsible for reliability or the speed of the car. He’s just a very important part of an otherwise bigger team.” recommends

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Jordan is confident that Wolff “will bounce back” from this experience, though also feels it is hard to sugar-coat the situation that Mercedes are in, as they are getting “pasted” by a rival in Ferrari who they wanted to be right there with at the start of F1 2024, while McLaren also had the beating of Mercedes in Australia.

“As these races go by, I have to think that the superiority that Mercedes had is not evident and it’s not there to be seen at the moment,” said Jordan, “and as a result, they are getting pasted.

“I mean they’re not being beaten, they’re getting hammered by Ferrari. McLaren were very strong at the weekend and the person who was very very lacklustre, in my opinion, was Toto. Very strange, because he’s such a massive professional.

“It will have hurt him for sure what happened in Australia, he will want to forget that as soon as possible. He will bounce back, make no mistake, but it will have hurt him for sure.”

Mercedes sit P4 in the early F1 2024 Constructors’ Championship standings, the gap to leaders Red Bull already 71 points.

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