Wolff sought Prost’s advice to avoid Senna-like rivalry issues

Toto Wolff has revealed he asked Alain Prost about his rivalry with Ayrton Senna in a bid to avoid similar issues with his Formula 1 drivers at Mercedes.

Wolff sought Prost’s advice to avoid Senna-like rivalry issues

Mercedes wrapped up a record-breaking seventh consecutive F1 constructors’ championship at Imola earlier this month, while Lewis Hamilton is poised to match Michael Schumacher’s record of seven drivers’ titles as early as this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix.

Since Wolff took the reins at Mercedes in 2013, the team has established itself as one of the most dominant forces in F1 history, placing a strong emphasis on company culture and looking after its people.

It has always given its drivers equal treatment and sought to avoid any conflict, with Hamilton’s existing partnership with Valtteri Bottas proving incredibly civil.

Wolff revealed that he spoke to four-time world champion Prost soon after taking over at Mercedes, asking what caused such issues with Senna during their rivalry at McLaren in the late 1980s.

“We have always been very transparent with each other,” Wolff said.

“At the beginning of my stint with Mercedes, I remember a discussion with Alain Prost. I said to him, ‘what went wrong between you and Senna?’

“He said that sometimes, we didn’t know whether we had the support of the team or not. There was always politics involved.

“Now I don’t know if that is true because I was not part of that, and certainly they had a great era.

“But we don’t play politics. We play politics outside, but we don’t play any politics inside. I would never permit it.

“Transparency, being honest with each other, blaming the problem and not the person, and empowering are the values that are of utmost importance to us.

“That’s why it’s a good place, a fun place, but it’s also a pushing place.”

Read Also:

Prost and Senna spent two tumultuous seasons together as teammates at McLaren in 1988 and 1989, ending in a crash that decided the world championship at Suzuka in Prost’s favour.

Prost quit McLaren to join Ferrari, where he again fought Senna for the title in 1990 and a repeat incident occurred at Suzuka with a crash to settle the championship, with Senna prevailing.

Mercedes has not experienced any on-track issues between its drivers since Nico Rosberg’s exit at the end of the 2016 season.

The German driver retired from F1 just days after beating Hamilton to the world championship, with the relationship between the pair having deteriorated through their final year as teammates.

shares
comments

Related video

What's new for Formula 1 2021
Previous article

What's new for Formula 1 2021

Next article

Kvyat vows to "keep pushing" despite worries on F1 future

Kvyat vows to "keep pushing" despite worries on F1 future
Load comments
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021