Mercedes: The taste of defeat lasts much longer than the thrill of victory

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admits the pain of defeat pushes the team much more than the thrill of victory.

The reigning champions suffered that feeling for the first time this season in Austria, as cooling issues allowed Red Bull and Ferrari to dominate them in the race.

However, now they look to bounce back this weekend at the British Grand Prix, a race Mercedes has won five of the past six years.

"The days we fail are the days we learn the most," Wolff told BBC Sport.

"You never leave a track with a great victory saying: 'Why the hell did we win?' But you leave the track saying: 'Why the hell did we lose?'

"Indeed the diligence of the analysis to leave no stone unturned is much deeper and intense when you have lost.

"The pain of losing lasts many days, probably up until the next race. The enjoyment of winning disappears on Monday morning after the Grand Prix and this has kept us going."

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During their ongoing period of F1 domination, a key topic that the Mercedes boss has mentioned is maintaining the motivation to succeed, believing it is that which saw the likes of Ferrari finally be beaten in the mid-2000s.

And to do that he revealed how the team has turned to meditation.

"There is a funny story,” Wolff began.

“I have actually been quite into meditation for many years and I am an active practitioner, but when we started, we chose a group where we believed there would be some of the most hardcore, stubborn, hard-line engineers who would think this is some kind of tree-hugging exercise.

"We put them all in a room - there were about 20 of us - and you will be surprised to hear that after the full course, the ones we believed would drop out immediately because it was all just 'nonsense', they did the whole thing to the end and actually improved their mental wellbeing and their performance."

It is also for the same reason, that the Austrian allow Lewis Hamilton to live his flamboyant lifestyle.

"Most important is to acknowledge that we are all different individuals and we need different frameworks in order to perform well," he explained.

"Lewis is somebody who needs to be able to pursue his other ambitions and interests, and rather than putting somebody in a box and saying, 'This is how a racing driver needs to behave', I realised very early on that giving him the freedom of pursuing his interests, we were able to extract more performance on track.

"I have the feeling that he needs to get his mind off motor racing. If he's able to do a fashion show that excites him, or record some music, or do some snowboarding with his friends, he forgets about the racing side, and he can come back stronger and more energised."