Toto Wolff talking Schwachfug


Having ditched the vast experience of Ross Brawn who both positioned the team technically to challenge for F1 world titles and skilfully charted the political shark infested waters of the paddock, Mercedes decided Toto Wolff was their new boss man.

Toto has grown in the job and the bitch fighting between Britney and Bling Bling has so far been kept under control in 2016. Though were Lewis to have another clutch issue at the start of the British GP, then the simmering tension within the race team since the events of Monaco may well just boil over.

Clearly, the boss of Brackley has concerns too for the good of Formula One. “I think we have a duty to F1 – to not talk it down. We are, and all of you [the media] are, F1’s ambassadors, and by constantly picking the negatives we got ourselves into a spiral of negative controversy. And I don’t think this is what is good for F1.

“We should have the duty of talking it up, and not talking it down. I have read a couple of articles in the last couple of days which are really rubbish, comparisons with Formula E and stuff”.

Credit where credit is due, it is laudable that someone living within the F1 bubble knows that Formula E even exists.

“F1 is also about controversy, on track and off track”, Wolff concedes and addresses whether his team’s current and medium term dominance of the sport is a good or bad thing.

“If I take my Mercedes hat off, and I look at what the spectacle has to offer, I think it is a good spectacle.

“Is it good that one team wins pretty regularly, or predictably? Maybe not. But we have seen that in the past as well”.

Wolff then elaborates on what exactly he thinks isn’t broken with F1 in 2015.

“There is so much talking about lap times in general, so much talking about the cars are not quick enough.

“If you consider that those cars with the standard tyres are at the beginning of their evolution – we are in year number two, so very early stages of these new regulations – and you compare them to the very end of the V10 and eight-cylinder engines, we are almost on the lap records of these old V10 and V8 era.

“We are sometimes a second off, sometimes five tenths, some times two seconds. But all that, with a car which is 100kg heavier and carrying 50 or 60kg less fuel. So I think that’s pretty impressive.”

Of course Pirelli have come under fire in 2015, for producing and selecting conservative compounds that lead to one stop races – which is not part of their brief.

Christian Horner re-emphasised the importance of the Pirelli mandated number of race stops following the Canadian GP. “You need to have two to three stops, and that’s important. Unfortunately, the tyres we have now are just a bit too conservative”.

Toto argues, Pirelli are in fact doing a good job in difficult circumstances.

“It’s a standard tyre, and Pirelli is given a task of making it between one and two pit stops, and they are doing a pretty solid job. I don’t know actually how much the tyres changed from last year to this year”.

Oops Toto – the Pirelli target is between two and three pit stops… not 1-2 as you say…

Oh well, what do team bosses know after all?

Speaking of being ambassadors for the sport, most people accept Mercedes have done the best job with the new engine formula and deserve a period of success as did Red Bull. However, Mercedes and Wolff need to begin addressing matters properly for 2017 and beyond rather than refusing to engage with change to protect their position.

The ‘hero’ status Mercedes may have gained with certain fans as the team who broke the dominance of Newey and Red Bull – will only last for so long.

Formula One cannot have two of its four engine manufacturers locked in to regulations until 2020 that mean they are unable to compete properly.

It’s time for Wolff to wake up and stop talking Unsinn.

It could well be Mercedes and Toto are prepared to allow change, but are dragging matters out – hoping to go beyond the deadline where significant alterations in the regulations for 2017 are possible.

32 responses to “Toto Wolff talking Schwachfug

  1. But is it fair for Mercedes to give in to the demands of the likes of Christian Horner and Redbull’s constant whinging about they should be allowed to catch up? Monisha yesterday stated she thinks the other manufacturers should be allowed freedom to improve their power unit with the exception of Mercedes, now is that fair?

    Mercedes should not be made the poster child for other teams failure to get the job done. They all got the same mandate and agreed to it. So why should they give up their advantage? It was not gained by infringing the rules. I’m sure had it been Ferrari or Redbull at the front, they would not entertain the suggestions being put forward.

    Ferrari have been able to make some inroads into Mercedes’ advantage, they did that by getting down to work as well as increasing their budget by a £100m.

    Honda had enough time as well, but look at the crap they turned up with. I’m sorry, but rewarding others for doing a piss poor job whilst punishing those who were successful, I find ridiculous.

    • “But is it fair for Mercedes to give in to the demands of the likes of Christian Horner and Redbull’s constant whinging about they should be allowed to catch up?”

      Its more fair than half of the engine suppliers and 1/3 of the teams running around on one leg. Where has the competition gone?

      1. Mercedes 1/2nd no contest.
      2. Ferrari 3rd and often 4th (come on Kimi) unless Ferrari themselves cock things up.
      3. Williams 4/5/7th unless its a high downforce and traction dependant track.
      4. Here it gets more random but its usually:
      High speed track – Lotus, Force India, Sauber
      High downforce/traction – RBR, Torro Rosso

      Other teams/engine suppliers failed, we get it. But there is no need to handicap them into oblivion and hope they will eventually catch up. That wont happen before 2017 and by then I dont know how little margin (Token allocation) they have left to make adjustments if they still havent catched up.

      By then I dont even know how alive this sport actually is. I mean Austria lost 50% in ticket sales with a year ?! The same happened in India and Austin is declining rapidly aswell.

      This stalemate just doesnt benefit anyone. Its meant to be cost reducing but it builds up debt elsewhere.

      FYI, I absolutely HATE Red Bull.

      • People just need to stop acting like Mercedes is a victim if other engine suppliers can catch up.

        Or should we just put a token system in place for the aerodynamics? I mean Mercedes did their homework on that aswell but at the moment they are being punished as other teams are allowed to catch up without anything holding them back.

    • I’m with you @Fortis96, although the situation is not a healthy one, it’s is just ridiculous to expect Mercedes to relinquish their hard worked for advantage. Personally I think Renault have already check out and are taking the piss a bit. Honda will sort it, but not till next year at least

    • Its hardly just Horner that is thinking this. Don’t see why we have to have merc giving in to horners demands. Demands are usually made by people with enough power. Horner does not have the power. You’d think anyone other than a merc fan would want equality.

      • I’m sorry, but which team principle and team has been making the most noise about the current power units?

        Which team has said time and time again that they’ll leave the sport unless it changes?

        Have we heard any such complaints from Ferrari or Honda?

        Yes there was an emphasis on equality and it’s for that reason why in season development was banned and the token system was implemented. Like o said, you would not have heard any complaints from Horner and at he Redbull hierarchy had Renault done a better job.

  2. In the spirit of teammate comparisons; the greatest, most intriguing and intense teammate pairing, perhaps in the history of Formula One.

    Many, many words have been written and spoken in relation to what is two of the greatest seasons in Formula One’s history. I couldn’t possibly write anything in this short comment to do the battle that raged between Ayrton and Alain justice.

    Once again, interpret the data how you will…

    My take, for what it’s worth, is that at that stage of their careers, the larger points-proportion haul and higher podium count shows Alain was the more polished driver and competitor. Conversely, the much higher pole position tally shows Ayrton was the much faster and gifted driver at the limit, and that earned him a legion of fans world wide.

    In the end, over two seasons, both earned a world title and collected a similar wins tally as Ayrton and Alain took two highly unique, but very different approaches to racing…

    A very close battle with many intense memories – and as for me, I am a massive fan of both. They belong together. They wouldn’t be as great without each other. They validate each other’s career. I see no point in screaming about who was the greater of the two. Senna and Prost were two sides of the same coin in that era and the best of a very great field of drivers.

    • …and one final “big ticket” stat comparison for today; Jenson Button v Lewis Hamilton when they were at McLaren Mercedes between 2010 -2012.

      Once again, the data speaks for itself…

      Lewis was clearly the quicker and more talented driver at the limit, which translated to a far higher pole tally. To say Lewis “dominated” Jenson in qualifying would be an understatement. “Crushed” feels more appropriate…

      Saturday aside, Jenson’s race craft over the three seasons shone through regularly resulting in him actually securing more podiums and a greater haul of points – though for all intents and purposes it’s as close to 50-50 as any driver pairing will ever get. He also scored a similar amount of wins, which surprised me, but again shines a light on his race craft given he secured only one pole position.

      A very close battle overall. As close as it gets really. Jenson enjoyed the best of the three seasons in 2011 placing 2nd, whilst Lewis beat Jenson in two of the three seasons – with both contributing, more or less, 50% each of the pts, wins and podiums.

      Lewis enjoyed more Saturday fame, as he did in Austria recently…

  3. The answer to that question is simple, Fortis, They are going into their second year of unprecedented domination and it drives viewers away by the hundreds of thousands. Nobody says it was fair to Merc. But a third year and F1 is down to only Hamfosi and that fanbase isn’t big enough to sustain F1

    • Hippo, my comment has nothing to do with who I support, I’m talking about fairness and it would be the same irrespective of who was winning.

      F1 has been loosing fans by the hundred and thousands for years, so I don’t see why now it’s being tied to Mercedes domination. So those who are going away in droves to me aren’t true F1 or sports fans. No matter which sport you look at, there has always been a period where one teams dominates for a sustained period of time, but it never last forever.

  4. They can’t really punish Mercedes alone so they’ll be punishing Williams, Force India, and Lotus if they freeze the Mercedes PU whilst allowing the others to catch up.

    The only ‘fair’ idea is to just open up engine development to all, but that’s not exactly going to cut costs…

    It will also set a precedent, as soon as anyone starts winning then for whatever reason they’re winning should they expect to be hampered in that area? A tricky situation all round with no easy fix sadly.

    • >It will also set a precedent, as soon as anyone starts winning then for whatever reason they’re winning should they expect to be hampered in that area?

      That’s exactly what has been done in the past. Merc engines were nobbled in the late nineties, Ferrari was clobbered with tyre-rules targeting them in 2005, Red Bull were nobbled when their blown diffusor was better than anyone else’s.

      • Not exactly the same though, similar principles but in a twisted way more fair. Blown diffuser was banned for all, not just Red Bull. Tyre rules, again same for all. The Engine malarkey in 90’s, well I can’t remember exactly what was done there so I’ll have to miss that.

        The hobbling of quick teams in the past has always been by making something the same for all, not saying certain teams can do something whilst the others can’t.

        When do you say Mercedes can work on their PU again, who decides they’re now equal? What if Mercedes are hobbled and then have a bad year, does everyone else then get development frozen and then Mercedes gets free reign?

        Good intentions for sure but you just know it’s going to get messy and make things worse.

        • nobody was stopping blown diffuser development, nobody said hey mercedes you’re not allowed to develop your blown diffuser anymore. They flat out just chose not to develop or improve their systems and then banned Red Bull from using theirs.

          A proper comparison would be for all teams to scrap their current engines and revert to previous V8’s.

          For the record, I want unlimited development and anyone crying about costs to go watch a spec series.

          • Red Bull weren’t the only ones with a blown diffuser, the McLaren system was believed to be pretty nifty in the end. But then we come back to my main point, that’s a different thing to whats being suggested now, they didn’t ban Red Bull and Red Bull alone from working on the blown diffuser, they banned them all.

            My only issue here is the idea that rules should be different depending on who you are. It should be the same rules for all.

      • “Ferrari was clobbered with tyre-rules targeting them in 2005” – Fat Hippo

        Yes, good point… It destroyed Ferrari’s unique and specific technical advantage, that they acquired fair and square, but perhaps F1 benefited – no matter how much I hated it. Oh, and did I hate it. The internet heard about it, I can assure you. The poor ‘ol internet in 2005 bore the brunt of a rabid Schufosi…

  5. The stat comparision illustrations would be more complete with a head to head comparision in races both finished.

    Toto, Horner, when have they acted or spoken in true seflessness?

    Was there anything wrong with my criticism of Britney and Bling Bling?

  6. A rock, a hard place, a nut, a cookie, an elephant…
    We’re in dire straits as fans. On one hand we want teams who are smarter (spend more) to succeed, on the other hand we want fierce competition. Add to that the desire for non artificial overtaking and the fact that 2,3, or even 6 team are on the verge of quitting (just count) and you’ll know we’re in deep deep shite.

    So what to do?
    I think much can be done with the broadcast:
    – better views of battles
    – better sound (fuck why Does YT always sound better?)
    – better view of driver competence (heartbeat, breathing etc)

    But also with unleashing fuel flow. I know of all potential shit and consequences but for now, it’s the easiest way.

  7. First of all, Toto needs to stop drinking the Bernie kool aid because it’s hazardous. He forgets that Bernie is a man that even if you support him; he will still tear you down. That’s just Bernie.

    There are problems with Formula 1 that need to be addressed and some of them before 2017. Is it Mercedes fault that Renault are on the back foot and than some, Honda are struggling, and Ferrari aren’t quite where they should be yet? No. Mercedes got this power unit and chassis formula right and everyone is seeing the results. They are in Formula 1 to win races and have success which is what they are doing. Should Red Bull be allowed to “catch up” because Renault was asleep at the switch and not investing in the new technology the way that they should have like Mercedes and Ferrari? Should Sauber be allowed to “catch up” to Mercedes because the team isn’t at its full potential because of operational and budget issues? The answer to both of these questions is no. In Red Bull’s case, get things sorted with Renault or get one of the VAG brands to join the show like Porsche. I think that once Bernie has passed; you’ll see more manufacturers wanting to enter the sport because they don’t like or want to deal with Bernie’s politics. As far as Sauber, run the team correctly and ethically and get more sponsors and quality investment in the team. Once that’s done, the team can hire the top notch engineers, etc. who can develop the bits to take the car more towards the front.

    One of the main problems is that Formula 1 is too regulated. The bloated rule book is suffocating the geniuses of the sport like Adrian Newey and they’re leaving because they don’t have the freedom to do what they desire within the sport. It’s very obvious that Adrian wasn’t as involved with this year’s Red Bull chassis. If the old timers/geniuses/innovators leave Formula 1 as a result of the over regulation, the sport will be in trouble. The rule book needs to be thinned down to just the necessary safety regulations. Get rid of the engine freeze, let them spend what they want and develop what they want, get rid of the fuel flow limits, turn up the horsepower, Pirelli needs competition so that they are forced to develop a good set of tires on the cars that won’t go off by end of the pit lane, etc. Yes, I know Bernie wanted them to develop tires that would make things more excited but all it’s done has developed a tire that force the boys to drive a conservative race because they’re worried about tire degradation right as they leave the pit line. Eliminate the tire worry because it’s robbed the show of excitement and the boys able to put the pedal to the floor.

    There are other ideas I have to improve the show that is a Formula 1 weekend which I’ll gladly discuss wherever I needed to in order to get it heard if I knew that the decision makers would listen and that I wouldn’t be just pissing in the fans. I truly believe that Bernie and CVC are going to ultimately kill the sport that I adore because they’re are more considered with ROI, lining their pockets with money, and their own self-interests instead of putting the fans first. Without the fan base, there isn’t a Formula 1.

    With the above being said, everything in Formula 1 comes down to either you have the money and resources to play in the sandbox that is Formula 1 or you don’t. It’s been that way for a long, long time. Formula 1’s downward slide started when tobacco sponsorship was banned because that where teams got a good chunk of money and there hasn’t been sponsorship like that to replace what was forced to leave. In today’s business world, ultimately, the manufacturers need to be able to justify the spend of Formula 1 to their corporate boards, they need to make money on the power units that they sell to the customer teams, and they need to have success. If the manufacturer can’t do either of these three things and has to deal with a bloated rule book, they may leave the sport. All of these factors have contributed and effected the on track product.

    • Step 1:

      -Sort out the rear aero wash. (Source: The Great Contrarian)
      -Return to a Free-to-Air model. (Source: The Great Contrarian)
      -Open PU Development for all for 24 months; allow “Law of Diminishing Returns” to take effect. One addendum; PU costs to be locked to where they are now for the teams. If manufacturers want to develop, it’s on them.

      Step 2:

      -Assess results from Step 1 with an eye on viewing no’s, closer racing and organically-occurring engine parity.

      • Step 3:

        – Change the payout structure so lower performing teams get enough money to operate and the top-12 get money (encouraging more teams to enter). If high performing teams get less money, which makes it harder to stay on top.

        • @Aapje: The payout structure in Formula 1 may never change because of the politics involved. Look at how long Ferrari have gotten money just for showing up to the GPs. That’s not changing any time soon and the fit the other manufacturers would throw if the money distribution was changed. You’d have a nearly empty grid. Bernie needs to change the distribution of the money he gets. He takes less and the struggling teams got part of that pie and a good chunk of the track fees until they can find other sponsorship deals, revenue streams, etc.

    • Here, here heidi! Having honed in on “race weekend” I, for one, would enjoy reading your, making F1 better for fans” thoughts.

      I will say it once again, Christian Horner is puling mightily on behalf of — an ENERGY DRINK company with no true interest in ANY sport in which they participate… unless they effectively run said sport through the $$$$$ they pour into it, which, effectively, gives them a de facto bully pulpit. However, like any good propagandist or mouthpiece for a more powerful entity, the goal of Red Bull at this moment in F1 is to manipulate people into taking Horner’s click-bait quotes to heart. This propaganda tactic is as old as civilization as we know it: appear to attack a single issue but do so using verbiage that subtly vague enough to seem to address larger problems; speak directly to your constituency, which includes the portion of the general public that favors you (RBfosi); make the verbiage just vague and altruistic-sounding enough to draw in the portion of the public that, while not necessarily liking you, dislike something about your primary target as much, or more; pound the pulpit consistently with emphasis on doing so the press is gathered together viewing the entire body of your, in this case, sport, pound the pulpit in times when news is slow and the press needs eyeballs on it, pound the pulpit directly after your primary target/adversary speaks to the press.

      All of these sub-tactics will ensure that a properly primed audience of, in this case, F1 followers, will do what people do, which is to take the propagandized messaging and, in their self-interest to not to appear simply like a puppet repeating the propaganda and not to sound wholly ignorant of the topic, and apply it to myriad topics which are likely to be peripheral, at best, to the core issue. What this does is to take the target off the back of the propagandist and apply it to the general field – here, F1 – of interest but particularly to the target adversary. Finally, the messaging MUST appear to make the change wanted a democratic process, which the propagandist know is not at all a fair process, but one of, mob rule (this is also the same type of messaging Pontius Pilate used to wash his hands of the crucifixion of an innocent man —– who he wished to be rid of).

      And the first act of the general public and the press which the propagandist wants to see go by the by? CONTEXT. Once the context of the initial statement is gone and the conversation shifts to a self-serving public, the propagandist must only make appearances – the press and public will automatically identify him with that with the PERCEPTION – not reality – of his aims.

      This is where we now stand in Red Bull – Horner – v. Mercedes – Wolff.

      Along the aforementioned lines, two things: despite WTF’s (certainly shared by and almost assuredly media-derived and further propagated) descriptions of the four drivers in his “versus” comments, it is interesting that Senna, by all in-paddock accounts, was notoriously “hard” on his garage crew, demanding to know exactly how they were trying to accomplish in their pursuit of consistently giving Senna a car with which he would be satisfied, to the point of often calling an engineer late in the wee hours with thoughts about making his car better.

      We have found out that Lewis Hamilton fervently annotates his “black notebook” with any and all thoughts and perceptions of his car and anything else around the paddock (at least). We also know that under the title of Mercedes Race Engineer is the name, Lewis Hamilton (unlike his allegedly “technical engineer” teammate).

      Also to be noted is that during the entire China GP weekend and during and after the race Sky F1 commentators constantly referred to the Shangahai Int’l Circuit as a, “technical”driving circuit that, “favored Lewis Hamilton’s driving style.”

      Also missing from the comparisons is the similarities in F1 driving experience – almost eerily similar. The additional half decade for Prost and Button spent competing in F1, when compared with their storied teammates, is never given any addressing.

      All of which can be noted under the header, “Speaking of Context…”.

  8. I’m getting a bit tired of pointing this out but…
    DORNA have tweaked the technical regulations in MotoGP (fuel, engine numbers etc) precisely to allow manufacturers other than Yamaha and Honda to catch up… with a view to eventually – like next year – re-levelling the playing field with the other manufacturers now significantly competitive.
    The result? Exciting, competitive, racing this year with even a newly returned manufacturer (Suzuki) showing strongly.
    Is anyone complaining about this? No – despite the fact that it’s still a two horse race for the manufacturer’s championship.
    Is this approach relevant to F1? I believe it is. I certainly know which championship I enjoy more. Let us Brits not ignore WSBK either, where our riders are currently dominant.

    • But even though DORNA has tweaked the regs, it is still the same teams/riders taking the top spot in races.

      Apart from Suzuki taking pole, it’s still the Honda’s, Yamaha’s and Ducati’s occupying the podium positions.

        • Both and nothing much has changed. The midfield bikes are still fighting it out with other midfield bikes and the big boys fighting each other.

          Smith, Crutchlow, Vinales et al will not beat a full factory bike, because all those satellite teams mainly get year old parts. Crutchlow is on a full factory Honda and his position is still the same.

  9. Interestingly (to me) in today’s MotoGP FP3 Julian Ryder and Keith “Verbal Dysentery” Heuwen both agreed that DORNA’s approach – of helping rather than penalising – the less competitive teams is vastly superior to the F1 regulations, which ensure that self-penalising teams are awarded additional penalties. I would have thought that anyone watching both series couldn’t fail to see which is more entertaining and competitive. But this is the internet…

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