Mercedes won't become 'entitled' but admit desire for more competition

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff won't allow any sense of "entitlement" to creep in as more championship success approaches.

This weekend at Imola, the Brackley-based team is expected to be confirmed as Constructors' champions for the seventh straight year, while Lewis Hamilton also has an outside chance of joining Michael Schumacher was seven Drivers' world titles.

However, as the trophy collection continues to grow and grow, in order to sustain it, complacency has been the one feeling Mercedes has worked to avoid.

"When I was walking up to do the media rounds with you guys, my thought was what do we need to do to maintain these levels of performance," Wolff said at Portimao.

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"Everything we do from now on will be important for next year, and also setting the pace for the 2022 regulations.

"So it's an extremely challenging situation that I take contentment in, trying to help structure our capability in a way that we can stay where we are, whilst obviously staying humble and not allowing one millimetre of sense of entitlement.

"Overall, I enjoy the task that is in front of us."

Speaking to the Beyond the Grid F1 podcast recently, however, Wolff admits the outright domination Mercedes has had for most of the past seven seasons does have its downsides.

“I think you need to stay humble, of course, we try to enjoy the success we’ve had," he said.

“The success we hopefully have in the future and try to build an organisation that resilient to regulatory change and stays on top of the game.

“But what I’ve realised is that we love the competition, and when we see a Red Bull coming up and staying close to us, not quite sure we’ll win the race, I enjoy a positive result much more than on a weekend when we are left unchallenged.

“But then on the other side – be careful what you wish for.”


Commenting on why he thinks Mercedes has been able to stay ahead for so long, however, the Austrian blamed F1's addiction to constant change.

“I think it’s the law of diminishing returns,” he said.

“The longer the regulations stay stable the more teams will catch up because the development curve of the leader is going to flatten out and others will still have a steep development curve.

“But this seems to not be understood by the decision-makers who think that changing the rules every two or three years is the lottery that is linked with it will change the pecking order. So, in a way changing the regulations, every three years is very much the optimum.

“It’s clear with stable regulations next year Red Bull is going to get closer and we’re very much looking forward to that. This is very much our opinion from every single soul in our company ‘Bring it on’, that is what we thrive on. We need the challenge.”