Toto Wolff: “If we start to put in a balance of performance we will ruin this sport”

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Toto Wolff has gone from being the image — together with his star driver, Lewis Hamilton — of a team constantly at the forefront, chasing limits and records, to floundering under the weight of a failed project to date in the ground effect era.

The Mercedes Team Principal was asked post-race on Sunday about the Red Bull dominance and how damaging it could be to witness Max Verstappen’s secure another championship long before the season comes to its conclusion in Abu Dhabi.

“So first of all, I think when you win in Formula 1 it’s a meritocracy. And they’ve just done a good job, the car’s fast in all conditions, the driver is on the top of his game. Even today, going off at times, but not DNFing is a skill. And you can see that he pushed so all credit to them. We just need to do a better job.

“We just need to catch up, find intelligent solutions hope that our learning slope development slope is steeper than theirs and eventually fight for this.”

A fight between multiple teams and drivers was what many hoped for at the start of this season, with the end of Mercedes dominance behind.

But since Red Bull has established its superiority since the second half of 2022, it is hard not to predict the outcome of the season. The Milton Keynes-based squad has won 16 of the last 17 races, including all six so far in 2023.

Wolff is completely against the suggestion that the sport needs a balance of performance to keep things entertaining.

“I think if we start to put in a balance of performance we will ruin this sport, this is a meritocracy: best driver and best car, spending the same amount of money, wins the championship. And if you break the rules in either, you should be heavily penalised but only then and not for a good job.”

Photo Credit: Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team