Mercedes F1: Wolff explains heated exchange with Hamilton

Mercedes F1: Wolff explains heated exchange with Hamilton

Mercedes F1 team boss Toto Wolff ended up commenting on the heated exchange he had with Lewis Hamilton after qualifying at Imola on Friday.

Hamilton, along with teammate George Russell, was eliminated in Q2. Mercedes failed to make a top 10 appearance in Q3 for the first time since the 2012 Japanese Grand Prix.

As Hamilton got out of his car, he approached Wolff who looked angry in his expression.

Wolff denied there was any friction between the two, saying there was a mixed anger within the team due to his results this year.

“It’s kind of funny how that’s interpreted,” comments Wolff.

“He yelled at me, I yelled at him, but the reason for such an emotional exchange was the same.”

“Lewis and I shared the frustration that we weren’t really able to extract the performance from how boring it was. It was the same point of view and pure anger for everyone. there’s no division between us or blame or anything like that.”

“There is pressure in the system, but I would say the pressure to get it right. Nobody in the team is about to take advantage of the situation right now and this team, they have it. done in the past, just needs to get us out of this hole.”

“Acknowledge a certain degree of frustration”

Wolff also explained how he would keep frustrations under control.

“I think you have to recognize that you have a degree of frustration, rather than trying to paint an overly optimistic picture for yourself and you have to set the right expectations. I’m telling you, it’s not an easy business. It has nothing to do with the past because the eight titles don’t matter at the moment.”

“But it’s just where we are at the moment and we have a direction, we know how to unlock the potential that’s in the car, which will bring us a lot closer, but at the moment we don’t have the key to go. in that direction. So we just have to take a step back and trust the science and the physics before we get into some kind of negative momentum.”

And when asked if a bad situation that lasts could be right for his involvement?

“Lewis had this question so I knew it would soon come to me too!” replies Wolff.

“But no problem at all, my shoulders are wide enough for that. I’m part owner of this team, so I’m not going anywhere. You also have to accept criticism. And I always question myself before anyone else.”

“For the motivation, the energy level, is it still fun? I responded positively to everything for me. If one day it wasn’t anymore, I would be the first to admit it and pass the relay to someone who can run faster. But I enjoy that – I enjoy the challenge of coming up the hill. Now let’s see if we can do it.”

Wolff asks ‘ruthless’ questions within the squad

Wolff says it’s only natural that after so much success F1 teams tend to ease off the accelerator and find themselves in a performance dip.

“With our eight titles, we have already pushed the level very far. As human beings, we have to look at ourselves and wonder if we are not so hungry anymore. But I don’t see that. Nevertheless, we have to be on our guard. Is there anyone who doesn’t have the same level of energy? Or the same motivation – not to have the same pleasure at work? I ask these questions without mercy to my employees.”

One of the questions posed to its collaborators is whether Mercedes has seriously mistaken the “no side pods” philosophy of its W13.

“There are no sacred cows at all with us. If we are of the opinion that this will get us nowhere – and that decision will be made in the next few months – then at some point we have to say ‘To when did we have a car that worked and why did it?

“We will then expand from there and try to address those issues.”


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