Toto Wolff, Maurizio Arrivabene, Sepang International Circuit, 2017

Wolff dismisses Ecclestone’s Ferrari claims

2017 F1 season

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has dismissed Bernie Ecclestone’s claims that Mercedes have supported Ferrari to be more competitive.

Ecclestone suggested that Mercedes had provided Ferrari with support to help them be more competitive this season, but Wolff has laughed off these claims.

“Bernie Ecclestone is the only person who can throw a hand granade from the other side of the world and have it land in the Formula One paddock,” said Wolff.

“I have missed them at times and how he likes to stir things up but this is clearly nonsense.”

It is not the first time that Ecclestone has hinted at a close relationship between the two leading teams. Ecclestone made similar suggestions last year, before Ferrari’s return to form in 2017.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 11 comments on “Wolff dismisses Ecclestone’s Ferrari claims”

    1. Bernie just being Bernie.

      1. Plausible liability (BE) or plausible deniability (Wolff)?

        Difficult not to think there might be something in this. Mercedes know that endless easy championships is bad for the sport and for them. So do they boost Red Bull by allowing Mercedes engines, and definitely see themselves losing, or boost Ferrari with a few tip offs and count on Ferrari to still mess things up? As Arrivabene said, nobody expected Ferrari’s sudden improvement. Except maybe Mercedes.

        1. @david-br
          The sudden improvement of Ferrari in 2017 came from the fact that they are the team that capitalized the most on the new 2017 regulations chassis wise. If there is something lacking to the SF-70H then it’s the power in qualy and in crucial part of the races. I don’t see how Mercedes helped Ferrari to improve chassis wise since they are not the benchmark in that area unlike RBR/Ferrari/Mclaren. Mercedes engineers are still understanding how to set up perfectly the W08 which behave differently from one race to another

          1. @tifoso1989 @david-br A contributory factor is also the cross-fertilisation of Mercedes engineers into other teams hthat always happens. Especially important for tthe Ferrari PU gains seen this year, following recruitment in 2015. This was well covered in a Motorsport magazine article earlier in the year and by several other F1 journalists.

            1. @ju88sy
              I didn’t deny the fact that Mercedes engineers recruited by Ferrari (Jock Clear/Zimmerman) didn’t help to improve Ferrari performance. The thing is, those engineers were recruited after serving a severe gardening leave for example Clear was recruited in the late 2014 and only started to work with Ferrari in 2016. In the meantime, Ferrari continued to improve from year to year. Mercedes also recruited senior staff from Ferrari too, my point is that Mercedes didn’t help Ferrari to improve, Ferrari worked hard to be were they’re now.

    2. F1 is as clean as a Whistle. Collusion, corruption, cheating, spying, all the stuff of Hollywood movies.

      1. But that’s why you love it isn’t it?

        1. NO. bernie is gone and F1 is better for it.

    3. As I was thinking about this I noticed I had received an email from Keith (@keithcollantine) saying there is a problem with paying my subscription. I think that is far more important than commenting on this.

    4. This mini-scandal is a great example of what happens when Big Money is at stake in a racing series. Compare this situation in F1 with smaller series, such as flat-track motorcycle racing or off-road auto racing, where teams helping each other is applauded as good sportsmanship, since those teams understand that improving the competition helps everyone. The only difference is … money.

    5. This was the perfect answer. Thank you for the laugh Mr. Wolf.

    Comments are closed.