Toto Wolff, Mercedes, Hockenheimring, 2019

German GP showed Wolff “you shouldn’t fool around with stuff”

2019 German Grand Prix

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said the team’s point-less finish in the German Grand Prix showed the importance of ‘concentrating on the job’.

The team used its home race to celebrate 125 years of motorsport and ran with a retro-inspired livery and old-fashioned team kit. But a combination of crashes and strategy errors meant the team left the Hockenheimring without adding to its championship tally.

“It shows that you shouldn’t fool around with stuff,” Wolff told Sky. “You should concentrate on the job. We are not superstitious but we believe in karma. It’s a day to learn.”

Wolff said the team “had a decent start of the race with good pace”. Lewis Hamilton led from the start and Valtteri Bottas was still holding second place 26 laps in.

“Then obviously you add incidents, crashing out in tricky conditions, the wrong calls and this is where it all started to go wrong,” he said.

Hamilton’s race went awry when he crashed during a Safety Car period. He came into the pits, collecting a penalty for not following the entrance correctly, but discovered the team was not ready for him.

“It was unfortunate because crashing right at the entry of the pit lane, obviously you’re not prepared,” said Wolff. “And then we made the wrong calls also afterwards. It was all coming together.”

While Hamilton finished out of the points, Bottas crashed out of fourth place with less than 10 laps to go.

“Many others made a mistake,” Wolff reflected. “Leclerc crashed, many others crashed. Overall it was for us a bad day, it was for the drivers a bad day. It simply cannot go much worse.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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33 comments on “German GP showed Wolff “you shouldn’t fool around with stuff””

  1. Toto Wolff, saying that Hamilton crashed, there…

    1. Pathetic that a headline means that much to you. See a shrink.

      1. Describe your experience, is it helpful?

  2. “We are not superstitious but we believe in karma.”

    Pretty sure that’s a contradictory statement right there.

    1. Pretty sure he said the opposite at Sky: “We are not superstitious or believe in karma”.

    2. I don’t believe in horoscope; but this was expected from a Capricornian like myself.

  3. GtisBetter (@passingisoverrated)
    28th July 2019, 17:03

    “No more fun, ever!” – Toto Wolff

    1. @passingisoverrated :)
      That made me laugh. I expect that memo to be sent round tonight, latest.
      And yes, it was karma, or known by its more religious name, sod’s law. If you’re going to dress up daft on your serious day job when results are stlll expected, it’s bound to be the day everything goes pear shaped and you look extra daft.

  4. I noted that their fp3 pace was a result of them were playing around with something, Sky caught it on the pitlane. I guess they ended up trying to overdo things, I would guess playing with setup for Sunday, this race was boring, totally under control on inters but when things got into that wet dry limbo, mercedes were poor on dry tyres on a damp track.

  5. I don’t know who the guy in black is, but I want to give him a good meal, a razor, and a hug to cheer him up, in that order.

    1. Why, what’s wrong?

      1. He looks downright dejected :)

    2. @phylyp
      “Just a Dollar feller – just a dollar to get some grits an a cuppa coffee. You got a nice tie Mr, I aint got nuttin … Nuttin!”

      1. @nullapax – you win the caption competition. So was it the rum or the wine that aided your eloquence? :)

        1. @phylyp I didn’t reach the wine.
          The race was all the fuel I needed this afternoon :)

          I should apply for a job in advertising really with crap like that coming out of my head ;P

          1. @nullapax – just don’t call it crap at the interview, they might view that dimly ;)

  6. That blond bespectacled gent standing behind Toto’s shoulder (in the garage) was Ola Kallenius, wasn’t it? Not a good day for the boss to be visiting.

  7. I think Wolff was against the costumes and that is coming out.
    Mercedes wanted a PR event at their home Grand Prix, pleasing the sponsors (owners) is a part of F1
    Mercedes is a large team the retro livery and costumes would not have slowed the team or diverted focus. It was just a rally bad race for Mercedes.
    Nothing to do with karma.

  8. When was the last time Hamilton crashed during a race?

  9. Neil (@neilosjames)
    28th July 2019, 17:30

    Nothing to do with the costumes, or ‘fooling around’… it was just a chaotic race. Hamilton made a few errors, the team made a few errors, Bottas made one race-ending error.

    Can’t blame mistakes on silly hats.

  10. Ban all dressing up and celebrating the past.
    Let’s have none of this nonsense about heritage and stuff.
    If we need a Philip Marlow lookalike we can pay Mr G Steiner to do the job … he is good at swearing as well!

    We lost today – I blame this hat!

  11. Did Netflix “Drive to Survive” just now start recording material? Might the comment be about that also or just the anniversary/outfit?

  12. All the costumes were indeed buffoonery.

  13. Best response would be “Well, that didn’t work! See you in Hungary.”

  14. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    28th July 2019, 18:31

    Seeing Mercedes come undone at the pits when Lewis brought the car in with damage goes to show you that even a team like Mercedes is not perfect and can improve. This is good for them – it’ll keep them on their toes.

    1. Better for Mercedes to make 10 mistakes in one race then make 1 mistake in 10
      consecutive races like some other teams do

  15. RocketTankski
    28th July 2019, 21:38

    Should have gone for slick lederhosen?

    1. Slick Lederhosen?

      Oh I like the sound of that.
      Is it tight and shiny with pockets for extra additions?

      I need to go away and think about this for a while!

  16. No problem. They failed in all the right ways.

    Bottas crashed chasing P2, Hamilton was fighting for the win when he crashed. Hamilton had a moment same place as Bottas.

    In those conditions who could blame them?

    Strategy errors were not like the usual Ferrari like blunders. They were what appered to be the best options at the time.

    Their outfits were pure victory atleast.

  17. the team’s point-less finish

    Well, bad race indeed, but Hamilton got two points, right?

  18. Sonny Crockett
    29th July 2019, 9:18

    If anything the weekend’s events have made Mercedes more appealing to me.

    At last they appear “human”.

  19. “We are not superstitious but we believe in karma. It’s a day to learn.” Who is/are this/those ‘we’? He doesn’t look like the Queen of England!

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