Wolff feels 2013 ‘pump’ at Mercedes, clarifies Brown comments

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the Red Bull challenge has left his Formula 1 team ‘pumped’ like it hasn’t been since before its first title in 2014.

Wolff feels 2013 ‘pump’ at Mercedes, clarifies Brown comments

Although Mercedes won the F1 season opener in Bahrain, the pace shown by Red Bull throughout the weekend points to the RB16B being the quickest car on the grid right now.

But rather than Mercedes being downbeat about the task it now faces to close the gap to Red Bull, Wolff says the German car manufacturer was actually revelling in the circumstances.

“In a way there is a feeling within the team that we very much enjoy the new circumstances,” Wolff told Motorsport.com. “And it’s that, on paper, Red Bull is ahead with maybe all of their package.

“It's theirs to lose, ours to win, because when you have the quickest car, you have got to deliver on that.

“We have to catch up. We have to deploy our A-game and find more performance. But strictly speaking, we are second best on the road.”

Wolff said Mercedes did not find it hard to deal with being behind its main rival on pace terms. In fact, he felt that it had served to bring a new energy and focus to everyone at Brackley and Brixworth.

“The fun factor of us being in the hunt is very enjoyable, because it is a new situation, and we embrace this opportunity,” he said.

“That hasn't been the case since 2013. And I loved 2013. I've said it in the team that I feel like the same 'pump' as when I first joined. And it was Red Bull domination then: they were just going to win the fourth championship.”

Read Also:

‘Talking shit’ clarification

Wolff recently caused a stir when comments attributed to him appeared to attack fellow F1 team bosses Zak Brown and Christian Horner.

In an interview with Austrian newspaper Osterreich, that was widely translated into English, Wolff was asked what he felt about comments from Brown who suggested that Mercedes would have an all-new driver line-up in 2022.

Wolff was quoted as saying: “Brown is like Christian Horner. They just spread shit. I don’t care.”

That interpretation of what he said was viewed by some as being a blatant attack on his fellow team bosses.

However, Wolff has clarified that his comments did not come across accurately, and what he actually said was something totally different.

“I have respect for both of them,” he said. “That was totally misquoted, and I think it got literally lost in translation.

“I said, ‘they give each other shit a lot’, and the way it was quoted is ‘they talk shit', which is not quite the same. Zak is a big part of the Mercedes family and a friend. With all the banter that we have between us, it's not something that I would accuse him of.”

Wolff said that team bosses having banter between them was a vital element that attracted interest in F1, as it showed the competitive battle between squads was real.

“It's very important because, what it comes down to, is rivalry,” he added. “We are operating in the same circus, and it needs to provide entertainment for our fans and audiences.

“But there is also rivalry. Sometimes that can escalate into animosity, and that's part of the sport. But we mustn't forget: it's just a sport.”

shares
comments

Related video

High-downforce tracks vs power tracks in F1 – differences explained

Previous article

High-downforce tracks vs power tracks in F1 – differences explained

Next article

Ranked! The legendary Jim Clark’s top 10 performances

Ranked! The legendary Jim Clark’s top 10 performances
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Mercedes
Author Jonathan Noble
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory Prime

The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Imola 1994: Memories from Ayrton Senna’s F1 rivals Prime

Imola 1994: Memories from Ayrton Senna’s F1 rivals

The tragic events of the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix changed Formula 1 forever. Here, 17 of the drivers who took part explain how they coped with the devastating deaths of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy Prime

The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021