Victory without being challenged is not as satisfying – Wolff

Success in Formula 1 does not carry the same feeling of satisfaction without having close competition according to Mercedes’ Team Principal Toto Wolff. Mercedes has not been beaten to a world title since 2014 and is on the brink of wrapping up both titles for a seventh successive season.

Mercedes’ dominance is such that it has only been seriously challenged for overall honours twice, by Ferrari in 2017 and 2018, but still comfortably won titles in both seasons.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W11. Eifel Grand Prix, Sunday 11th October 2020. Nurbugring, Germany.

The team went on to win 15 races from 21 starts last season and this year has taken nine wins from 11, having yet to be beaten in qualifying.

When asked on the official F1 podcast Beyond The Grid whether Mercedes regrets its success due to the lack of opposition, Wolff said: “I think you need to stay humble, of course, we try to enjoy the success we’ve had.

“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.

Race winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates on the podium. Eifel Grand Prix, Sunday 11th October 2020. Nurbugring, Germany.

“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.”

Wolff welcomes the challenged posed by Red Bull while also taking a swipe at F1 management over continuous rule changes.

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

“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.”