‘That’s the worst thing that can happen – Ralf Schumacher on Toto Wolff’s ‘mess’

Michelle Foster
Toto Wolff in the team boss press conference

Mercedes continue to struggle in F1's ground-effect aerodynamic era

With less than half the points of customer team McLaren and only one ahead of Aston Martin, Ralf Schumacher says Mercedes’ start to the season is the “worst thing” that can happen.

Although Mercedes walked away from pre-season testing happy that the all-new W15 was finally a “race car”, their 2024 results have not supported their claims.

‘Mercedes is in a mess at the moment’

Recording a best result of P5 at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Mercedes have not only failed to record a podium finish but they’re also well behind customer team McLaren in the standings.

The Woking team does have a podium celebration to their name having joined Ferrari in the top three at the Australian Grand Prix.

It’s meant after four races Mercedes have 34 points, one ahead of Aston Martin, but are a shocking 107 behind championship leaders Red Bull. They’re also 86 behind Ferrari who they beat to second place last season.

It’s had pundits asking Wolff if he is the right man to inspire Mercedes back to greatness. He replied to that: “I look myself in the mirror every single day about everything I do, and if I believe that I should ask the manager questions. I think it’s a fair question, but it’s not what I feel at the moment that I should do.”

Schumacher, though, reckons this is the “worst” period Wolff, a part owner of the Mercedes F1 team, has ever gone through as a team principal.

“I would say that Toto Wolff’s situation is extremely precarious and difficult. Toto is not used to losing,” the former driver told Sky Deutschland as per GPBlog.

“That makes sense, he has always been successful and left everyone behind. This is a new situation.

“His customer teams, especially McLaren, are beating him. That’s the worst thing that can happen.”

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That, though, is not the only caveat in Wolff’s 2024 disaster, says Schumacher.

“His number one driver has walked away from him because he no longer believes in the team either,” said the German.

“That means it is now also a huge problem for him. He has to attack now, he has to make sure he remains attractive as a team, that the good drivers come to him.”

“Mercedes is in a mess at the moment. You can also see that from Toto Wolff’s reactions toh the media. I appreciate him, I like him, but it is disastrous what they are doing now.

“Some of them don’t even know what they are doing. They say ‘we took it easy on the tyres’, but then again they took it easy on the tyres for far too long. They have two cars and I don’t understand why they can’t use two different strategies.

“At the moment it’s a bit of a mess and they come across as almost desperate.”

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