Wolff: Drivers critiquing Hamilton should question themselves

Toto Wolff believes drivers critiquing Lewis Hamilton’s success in Formula 1 by putting it down to the dominance of Mercedes should question themselves.

Wolff: Drivers critiquing Hamilton should question themselves

Hamilton drew level with Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 grand prix victories by winning the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring last Sunday, and is set to match his tally of seven world titles this year.

It has led to increased debate about Hamilton’s standing among F1’s greatest drivers, with three-time world champion Sir Jackie Stewart recently saying it was “hard to justify” if Hamilton compared to the likes of Jim Clark and Juan Manuel Fangio.

Hamilton has scored 70 of his 91 victories with Mercedes, which has dominated in F1 since 2014 and helped the Briton to win five of his six titles.

But Mercedes F1 boss Wolff felt it was wrong for Hamilton’s high win percentage of 34.87% to be used against him in the argument about his place among racing’s greats.

“I read that, and in my opinion, that’s not quite fair,” Wolff said.

“Winning races and winning championships is always in this sport a team exercise, but you need to put yourself in a position that you end up in the best car.

“You can see lots of talented and skilled drivers took wrong decisions, or not well-advised decisions.

“In that respect, it was him who joined Mercedes in 2013, and it is him that sits in the car and is able to execute on track with a tool that we provide to him.

“But it's always a tool. We couldn't achieve the records that we have and he probably couldn't achieve the records without the right car, full stop.

“I don't want to allow these voices that say, ‘well, he drives a Mercedes, it's obvious that he wins so many races’.

“The drivers that say that, they should analyse why they haven't found a way into a Mercedes.”

Read Also:

Hamilton took the decision to leave McLaren at the end of 2012 and join a Mercedes team that had won just a single race since its works return to F1.

The move was perceived to be a big risk at the time, but paved the way for sizeable change in Hamilton’s F1 career.

Asked by Motorsport.com what he would tell the version of himself in 2013 who was joining Mercedes, Hamilton said: “Keep doing what you’re doing.

“Hindsight is always a great thing, and I’m sure all of you can look back and say how you would maybe do something different.

“For me, honestly, I wouldn’t do anything different. The mistakes that I’ve done have really helped me be where I am. If you skip one of those moments, maybe I won’t be where I am, or maybe I’ll be further ahead or maybe I’ll be more behind.

“In 2013, I can’t remember how old I was. Still a youngster! And still very much learning about myself. I think you probably can see there’s a lot of growth since then.

“Moving to this team, I knew, I don’t know how I knew it so well, but I knew it was the right thing for me.”

shares
comments

Related video

F1 drivers welcome return of Spa gravel traps

Previous article

F1 drivers welcome return of Spa gravel traps

Next article

What Red Bull needs to beat Mercedes in F1

What Red Bull needs to beat Mercedes in F1
Load comments
How the pitstop rules change has left F1 teams scrambling Prime

How the pitstop rules change has left F1 teams scrambling

The technical directive issued by Formula 1 to reduce levels of automation in pitstops has given teams an unwelcome period of adjustment. Although safety was the primary goal, it has already had a significant impact on the title race and puts extra pressure on teams to deliver as the season reaches the business end

How the pandemic is continuing to bite F1 Prime

How the pandemic is continuing to bite F1

Uncertainty over the shape of the calendar doesn’t just vex the fans and the commercial rights holder. MARK GALLAGHER explains at how race promoters have been pushed to the financial brink

Russian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Russian Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2021
The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race Prime

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2021
Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces Prime

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021