Toto Wolff would throw a title away in the name of integrity

Michelle Foster
Toto Wolff standing for the national anthem of Italy with the Mercedes team.

Toto Wolff standing for the national anthem of Italy with the Mercedes team.

Toto Wolff insists when Mercedes eventually reel in Red Bull it will be done the right way as he’d rather lose a championship than “break the rules in an intentional way”.

This season Mercedes are facing the prospect of a first winless campaign in more than a decade with main rivals Red Bull on course for a season’s whitewash.

Conceding their W14 has a massive delta between the high and low downforce package, the team has managed just two runner-up results accounting for two of their five podiums.

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

Toto Wolff: I would give up a championship before I break the rules

It’s been a challenging period for the Brackley squad and Red Bull’s other rivals but, unlike Lewis Hamilton who’d like the FIA to intervene for the “better” of the sport, Wolff believes it’s for the teams to reel in Red Bull.

“As a team principal, I don’t want to jump on the bandwagon that others have done in the past of saying we need to change the regulations because we can’t continue with the dominance of a team,” he told the media including PlanetF1.com.

“If a team dominates in the way Max has done with Red Bull then fair dues, this is a meritocracy.

“As long as you comply with the regulations; technical, sporting, and financial, you just need to say well done and it’s up to us to catch up. If that takes a long time then it takes a long time.

“I remember people crying foul when it was us. Entertainment follows sport and not the other way around. We can’t be WWE, with scripted content. We don’t want to be scripted content.”

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But while the past two seasons mark arguably Mercedes’ most difficult period in Formula 1 since taking over the Brawn GP team in 2010, Wolff is adamant Mercedes will reel in Red Bull the right way.

“I think the interesting part of the journey is that you’re putting these words on a PowerPoint, but you need to live by the standards every day, whether you win or whether you lose,” he said.

“And we’ve had challenging moments. I think a reason why we won was no blame culture.

“I would give up a championship before I break the rules in an intentional way because reputation and integrity are all today.

“I don’t want to be judged by a championship or two. I want the team to be judged after 20 years for whether we’ve done more things right or wrong, loyalty, we’ve not lost many people.

“And it needs to start by myself, not blaming someone rather than blaming the process. So I think as a team we’ve done pretty well.”

Mercedes are second in the Constructors’ Championship on 273 points, 310 behind Red Bull and 45 ahead of Ferrari.

Read next: Exclusive: George Russell on future at Mercedes, Red Bull’s dominance and Lewis Hamilton