Toto Wolff’s turnaround between Monza and Singapore noticed by experts

By | September 19, 2023

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff at the Belgian Grand Prix.  Spa-Francorchamps, July 2023. Lewis Hamilton Credit: Alamy

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff at the Belgian Grand Prix. Spa-Francorchamps, July 2023. Lewis Hamilton Credit: Alamy

From his “punchy” mood in Monza when he disparaged Max Verstappen’s new F1 record to his “happy” mood in Singapore, experts on the F1 Nation podcast believe Mercedes’ pace was a “relief” for Toto Wolff.

Wolff and Mercedes have run the gamut of emotions this season as the Brackley team has swung between disappointment and encouragement, unhappiness and euphoria, and it was all written on team boss Wolff’s face.

Two weeks ago in Monza, the Austrian decried Verstappen’s new Formula 1 record as the driver recorded his 10th consecutive victory as he made another leap towards a third world title.

‘A bit of tension for Toto Wolff after this result’

But seven days later there was a smile on Wolff’s face as George Russell and Lewis Hamilton ran within three seconds of winning the Singapore Grand Prix, only Carlos Sainz’s monumental race management keeping them behind with the help of Lando Norris .

Ultimately, Russell would crash on the final lap while Hamilton would take the podium, 2.5 seconds behind the race winner.

Wolff, Tom Clarkson noted, seemed to be in better spirits than he had been the previous week.

“I felt he was quite incisive in Monza, you know he wasn’t ready to recognize Max’s 10 consecutive victories, comparing it to Wikipedia that nobody reads,” he said in the latest edition of the F1 Nation podcast. “Do you think he was a little nicer, more relaxed, more conciliatory, really, this weekend?”

Bild journalist Silja Rulle, who saw Wolff shortly after the Grand Prix, agreed that his mood had improved significantly.

“He seemed happy, relaxed,” she said. “Sometimes we can read the mood on Toto’s face and he seemed relaxed just by his facial muscles and the way he was himself. I think there will definitely also be some relief from the tension, perhaps after this result.” recommends

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“Mercedes aimed for victory, this was the final result”

Unfortunately, the result was not a victory for Mercedes, although Pedro de la Rosa applauded them for doing everything they could to make that happen.

While the Ferraris, McLarens and even the Red Bulls stayed out during the latest Virtual Safety Car, Mercedes gambled on losing track position to have fresher tires to fight for the win.

Teammates attacked Charles Leclerc to run third and fourth and then made inroads into the top two. But it didn’t, not for lack of trying.

“It was the right choice if you wanted to win a race,” said former F1 driver De la Rosa. “From the second lap George was saying on the radio that he wanted to win.

“I think they did a fantastic job keeping those extra sets of new medium tires that nobody had. Nobody had any media, so everyone who pitted ended up on old tyres.

“I think strategically it worked very well.

“And if the Virtual Safety Car comes and you’ve saved a new set of mediums, you have to pit. There’s nothing to do, you just have to win.

“It was risky but you want to win the race. You had to go.

“They did exactly what was planned before, using that second type of medium. After qualifying they said they had a second set of mediums and hoped to use it to make things difficult for Ferrari. And that’s exactly what they did.

He added: “They tried to win, that was the bottom line. They lost more than a second because they lost George’s car. They came third, but with only one car, so I think they lost more. But I like the fact that they wanted to win. They went for a win. It wasn’t like that, but they were so close.

Hamilton’s third place saw him leapfrog Fernando Alonso into the Drivers’ Championship.

Read next: Lewis Hamilton offers a theory for Red Bull’s poor performance in Singapore

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