Toto Wolff responds after question raised on leading struggling Mercedes F1 team

Michelle Foster
Toto Wolff with the Mercedes logo behind him.

Toto Wolff is still hoping to lead a Mercedes resurgence.

Adamant Mercedes do not have an “organisational problem”, Toto Wolff says as team leader he’s open to any suggestions as to how the team can turn their fortunes around.

Mercedes left the Albert Park circuit on Sunday without scoring a single point after Lewis Hamilton’s engine failed while he was fighting for the minor points before George Russell crashed on the penultimate lap.

‘My hamster wheel keeps spinning and I can’t jump out’

However, even he was racing just to score a few points with the Briton down in seventh place and well off the podium when he was caught out by Fernando Alonso’s braking antics.

Yet to score a podium this season, Mercedes’ disappointment has been compounded by the fact they felt after pre-season testing they had a car that would be competitive.

But after high-speed corner troubles in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, Hamilton complained that this time around his inconsistent W15 was struggling in the low-speed corners.

Asked if Mercedes had anything in the pipeline to help, the Briton dejectedly responded: “I don’t know.”

In the third year of F1’s ground-effect aerodynamic era and still not on top of the concept, Wolff was asked in Melbourne if he was ‘the right man to lead your organisation back to where you were’.

“As a corner of this business, I need to be sure that my contribution is positive and creative,” he said.

“I would be the first one to say, if someone has a better idea, tell me, because I’m interested to turn this team around as quickly as possible. And I’ll happily give my input and see what that would be or who that could be.

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“We have a physics problem, not a philosophical or organisational problem. We haven’t swallowed a dumb pill since 2021. It’s just we don’t understand some of the behaviours of the car, that in the past we would have always understood.

“I look myself in the mirror every single day about everything I do, and if I believe that I should ask the manager question or the trainer question, I think it’s a fair question, but it’s not what I feel at the moment that I should do.”

Wolff made it clear his position at Mercedes, where he is part owner of the Formula 1 team, is not the same as that of a football manager where he can quit if he’s had enough.

He added: “The big difference is it’s not like the manager question in terms of, this is my job, I’ll stop the job and then somebody else is doing the job and I’ll go to Chelsea or to Liverpool, or over to Ferrari.

“I haven’t got that choice, which is also unfortunate. I’m not a contractor or employee that says, ‘I’ve had enough of this’. My hamster wheel keeps spinning and I can’t jump out.”

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