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Mercedes boss admits matching Ferrari/ Schumacher era success an "objective"

Written by  Dec 08, 2017

Mercedes Motorsport boss Toto Wolff admits the chance to go on and match the success achieved by Ferrari during the Michael Schumacher days does act as an "objective" for the German manufacturer to achieve.

This season, new design rules meant the gap over their rivals, particularly Ferrari, was much smaller than in recent years, however, it wouldn't be enough as the Silver Arrows secured both championships for the fourth straight year with the Scuderia, led by Sebastian Vettel, stumbling shortly after the summer break.

That success meant they also matched the achievement of Red Bull at the start of the decade but, using history as the precedent, Wolff sees no reason why his team can't push on.

"Winning becomes more difficult with every single year. I guess we will see a fight between Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull Racing and maybe McLaren-Renault will join us in the title fight," he told the official F1 website, looking ahead to 2018.

"That is an exciting outlook for the fans but, of course, we want to make the right calls over the winter,  minimize our mistakes and then go racing. If you win you know that you have done a good job!

"I have great respect for what Jean Todt achieved," he added referring to the 11 titles he won as Ferrari Team Principal between 1999 and 2004. "And yes, it is an interesting objective.

"To achieve something like that, it is a team effort – setting the right objectives. Such success is never a single man’s achievement and yes, we have set objectives for the team and we are motivated to achieve them."

What was impressive too, was how the Brackley-based team kept pushing to address the weaknesses which sometimes saw them drop behind Ferrari and Red Bull at certain races.

It is that ability which has Managing Director of Motorsport at the Formula One Group, Ross Brawn concerned that Mercedes could once again dominate next season.

“They’ve got a great group of people, but my slight worry is that they will get even stronger now,” he told ESPN. “They’ve had a change of senior management – Paddy Lowe left and James Allison came – and that was in the middle of a car [design] change, which is not easy.

“By their own admission, the car they had this year was a bit of a diva and I strongly suspect that’s not going to be the case next year. So I just see – unfortunately in many ways – a continuation of the steamroller. Let’s hope I’m wrong!”

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