Mercedes and their team boss Toto Wolff haven’t exactly had the best of times in 2022.
They began the year off the back of their eighth consecutive world constructors’ championship in 2021, and Lewis Hamilton’s narrow and contentious defeat to Max Verstappen in the drivers’ championship battle.
2022 brought a change of fortunes. New regulations have played into the hands of Red Bull and Ferrari, both of whom charged ahead as Mercedes and Hamilton struggled in the opening rounds of the season.
They have managed to fight their way back, and now look to be on a par with Ferrari. Speaking to the Financial Times this week, Toto Wolff revealed how he is approaching the downturn in form – and said that the recent struggles of Manchester United are something he is learning from.
Toto Wolff using Manchester United as example of what not to do
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has experienced previously unimaginable success with the team. He has led them to eight constructors’ titles and seven drivers’ titles since taking over in 2013, and has established himself as one of the faces of modern F1.
This year’s struggles have required a change in strategy, however, as Mercedes struggle to get to grips with the new 2022 regulations.
In his interview with the Financial Times, Wolff revealed that Manchester United’s demise after the departure of Alex Ferguson was something that he had studied, in an attempt to ensure Mercedes do not falter even further like their footballing compatriots have:
I studied why great teams were not able to repeat great title [runs]. No sports team in any sport has ever won eight consecutive world championship titles, and there are many reasons for that, and what is at the core is the human.
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The human gets complacent, you are not energised in the same way you were before. You are maybe not as amibitious.
If you stop dreaming, you’ll run out of purpose, in my opinion. That is not some kind of Instagram bullshit, that is something that I learnt from Niki [Lauda], that yesterday is irrelevant.