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Coulthard Questions Wolff's Blame for Mercedes Woes

Wolff’s Self-Blame Surprises Coulthard After Mercedes’ F1 Setback

01/04/2024

David Coulthard is taken aback by Toto Wolff’s self-blame over Mercedes’ F1 struggles, sparking a debate on leadership.

David Coulthard is puzzled by Toto Wolff’s tendency to shoulder so much blame for Mercedes F1’s mistakes and failures. The former driver reflected on the Austrian’s debrief after Melbourne and found Wolff’s remarks, where he held himself accountable for a situation that, in the Scotsman’s view, wasn’t his to bear, surprising.

“It was a bad weekend for Mercedes,” Coulthard stated on the Formula For Success podcast. “Neither car finished, with a very rare engine failure for Lewis Hamilton. Then there was George’s crash.”

“Toto said he felt like hitting himself after the double failure. I get his frustration, but as a team principal and shareholder, you put the funds and people in place, yet you’re not directly responsible.”

“I know it’s all one team, but I don’t see how Toto can see himself as the sole person accountable for the car’s reliability or speed. He’s just a very important part of an otherwise larger team.”

Wolff “will bounce back, but…”

On the same podcast, Eddie Jordan was surprised to see Mercedes lose its sheen, and Wolff to be so negative: “As the races go by, Mercedes’ [second place] is not obvious and it’s not visible right now, and as a result, they are being overtaken. They’re not just being beaten, they’re being trounced by Ferrari.”

“McLaren was very strong this weekend and the person who was very, very dull, in my opinion, was Toto. It’s odd, as he’s a top professional. What happened in Australia clearly hurt him and he’ll want to forget it as soon as possible. Make no mistake, he’ll bounce back, but it definitely hurt him.”

According to Mario Andretti, Mercedes’ struggles place Hamilton in the same boat as Michael Schumacher in 2010: “Lewis, in his career, has often had the means to try to win, he hasn’t needed to give it 100% and thus he seldom makes mistakes.”

“Russell was constantly battling with a less competitive Williams. When he moved to Mercedes, he thought he had arrived in paradise but instead, he found himself fighting again: he’s used to it, and that’s why he maintains an edge over his teammate.”

“Hamilton appeared superhuman. But he is also human, as Schumacher was when, after his successes with Ferrari, he returned to F1 with Mercedes and the impossible was no longer possible. But it will always be very interesting to see Lewis with the Prancing Horse, with his great desire to end his career at Maranello.”

Coulthard Questions Wolff's Blame for Mercedes Woes

Coulthard Questions Wolff’s Blame for Mercedes Woes. Coulthard Questions Wolff’s Blame for Mercedes Woes

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