Toto Wolff has admitted he was investigating Manchester United’s mistakes in a bid to improve his record-breaking Mercedes team. Wolff’s record of eight consecutive constructors’ titles with Mercedes is unmatched in the sport, save perhaps for Sir Alex Ferguson’s record at Old Trafford.
The 50-year-old Toto Wolff took charge of the Barkley F1 team in 2014, winning his first title with Lewis Hamilton since 1955 and repeating the feat in each subsequent season.
Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have won seven drivers’ titles together, while Mercedes took the eighth constructors’ title, although Max Verstappen won the individual prize last season.
Those eight titles make up the longest consecutive run in F1 history, with Ferrari claiming just six consecutive championships and Mercedes now occupying third place on the all-time overall title list.
However, that streak seems almost certain to come to an end this year as Red Bull and Ferrari are much quicker than Mercedes, but Wolff doesn’t want to make the same mistakes as United.
The Manchester giants won a record 13 Premier League titles under legendary coach Ferguson, but have not come close since his departure in 2013. You can take that as a lesson when Toto Wolff talks about the club in an interview with the Financial Times.
“I was investigating why big teams couldn’t repeat big titles [runs],” he said, referring to Ferguson’s United. No sports team in any sport has ever won eight consecutive world titles and there are many reasons for that, and what is crucial is the man.
“Man becomes self-satisfied. You are not as energized as you were before. Maybe you’re not that ambitious. ” I get asked a lot, ‘How hard is that?’ “I’ve had so many periods, so many episodes in my life that I would consider difficult that it’s not to the same extent.
“I don’t think it’s challenging in any way because I’ve had much more difficult times in my whole life, not particularly in Formula 1, but it’s really within my comfort zone. Mercedes is currently 137 points behind leaders Red Bull after a hot start to the new era of aero regulations, ending any potential Silver Arrow title fight.
However, they managed to pick up more podiums than Ferrari at a much faster pace and Wolff says the learning process is important. I would say I’m enjoying doing wrong right now because I think that’s the foundation for long-term future success,” he explained.
“We’ve had eight consecutive world championships, which is unmatched in any other sport. And I think I know why. “All these facets have come together to make things harder right now, but at the end of the day it all boils down to physics and we got the physics wrong.
“We are still the same group of people with the same ambition, the same energy, the same tools and the same funding. Maybe we need to tweak here and there because psychology plays a big part, but I think this team has what it takes to be successful but without entitlement.
I want that to be a problem and not a long-term phase of not being able to play at the front.
In a way, we’re managed freaks. Sometimes I feel like a soccer coach: there’s a factor where there’s not anything extra you could do and you need to depart it to the players at the pitch to get the task done. That’s why whilst you’re there you’ve got the right reactions. Sometimes you want to push the strain launch valve. “
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