Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W11, Silverstone, 2020

“The pain of losing drives us strongly” – Wolff

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In the round-up: Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says the team is driven to seek an unprecedented seventh consecutive championship double by the “intense” pain of losing.

What they say

[smr2020test]Wolff was asked how he keeps his team motivated when they have already enjoyed so much success:

Every year we try to set the right objectives, and objectives that are being understood throughout the organisation. I think it’s so important to wake up with purpose. And I don’t see a lack of motivation and purpose within the organisation.

The pain of losing is so much more intense and lasts so much longer than the joy of winning. And this is in a way what drives us strongly and the sheer thought about losing makes you forget about all your previous achievements.

Last year’s record doesn’t buy us any credit for the 2020 championship. So all lap times, all points go to zero and we are yet again in front of another challenge.

In a way there is a reason why six was a world record because it’s bloody difficult. And we want to push that needle further. I think we are a great group of people that has just found partners that share the same values and will be pushing us also to be successful.

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Comment of the day

Halo or Aeroscreen? It won’t matter to new motorsport fans, says Neil:

Just imagine if you woke up tomorrow and every single person on the planet, yourself included, no longer had a nose. A lifetime of a human face looking a certain way, then suddenly human appearance is fundamentally altered and (unless you like people with no noses) everyone would appear unattractive and weird.

But a child born the day after everyone had no noses would grow up considering noseless-ness to be entirely normal and their picture of attractiveness would be a face without a nose.

These add-ons are the same to me. If single-seaters had always looked that way, neither would look bad at all. But because I’ve grown up with single-seaters being open-wheel, open-cockpit, and because my brain still expects them to look that way, they’re both unattractive. And of the two, the Aeroscreen is significantly less visually pleasing.

But my theoretical child will have no idea what all the fuss is about.
Neil (@neilosjames)

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Keith Collantine
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  • 29 comments on ““The pain of losing drives us strongly” – Wolff”

    1. Losing? Losing what? Lol, Toto, what a turd. They win almost every race, have won the last 6 titles, what exactly are they losing? Give me a freaking break!!! He poor mouths like nobody I have ever seen. To listen to him you’d think they were Williams.

      1. He’s just trolling mate..haha

      2. Cristiano Ferreira
        17th February 2020, 1:02

        Don’t you know that Mercedes are backmarkers every year? They are the ultimate underdog that somehow wins it all.

        Just wait a bit more until Barcelona, that is when Toto will say that even Williams have leapfrogged them.

      3. The pity is somehow the lessons in what Toto said are completely lost on Williams. I wanted to think the mistakes of last year were just an aberration, but then we were told we weren’t going to see their car until it turns up at Circuit de Catalunya. Doesn’t that sound like someone’s used to loosing? The reason Toto and Mercedes are World Constructors Champions is because they appear to define “loosing” as not having two drivers on the podium.

        1. “losing”

          1. Ha ha! Yes, thanks for the correction.

      4. @jblank @drycrust It’s an answer to a question about how he works to keep the team motivation & drive up given the success they have had because when you have that level of success it can be easy to become complacent & stop pushing forward at 100%.

        And the point he was getting across with his reply to said question was that whenever they lose a race (And it’s not as if they win every race) they take the ‘pain’ of that loss & turn it into motivation to keep the team moral up & ensure they collectively push forward 100% towards ensuring they win the next.

        It’s not Toto trying to talk there chances down, It’s Toto ensuring his team remain as motivated & driven as they need to be to continue the level of success they have had because that is the ultimate goal of the sport, To win as often & for as long as possible. It’s a message aimed more at the team than the fans.

        1. Very well put, some people are too blinkered to see the truth or to understand where Toto is coming from, for a team as successful as Mercedes losing any race hurts, but unlike others they learn from their failure to win races.

        2. @stefmeister well said. Not surprising that the explanation of a winning mentality is completely lost on people who are clearly losers.

      5. They lost 6 races last year, you might be ok with that, born losers usually are, but born winners do not accept that type of loss record.

      6. @Jason Blankenship

        You do know that only losers constantly whine about winners. When I competed, it was me who had to become good enough to win, it was pointless waiting for the winners to get worse. I had to put the work in to improve my performances.

        Get over yourself, sport doesn’t need bad losers.

        Williams had their chance when the V6 arrived. Since then, poor leadership has left them circling the drain. Blaming one of their competitors for their problems is ridiculous.

      7. @jblank – Get used to it. We’ve got a month of “OMG – HAVE YOU SEEN HOW FAST THE FERRARI’S ARE!?” coming up.

    2. I like Toto’s answer. A big change from the usual “let’s downplay the team, the car, the drivers and our chances”.

      And yes, an attitude like that where they don’t rest on their laurels, and where they are ferocious in understanding the cause of their losses (e.g. their weakness in Singapore some years ago) and fixing them is what has given them all their success.

      Keeping complacency at bay in a successful team is always a challenge, and both internal factors (e.g. Toto, and the individuals themselves) and external ones (the challenges from Ferrari and Red Bull) have ensured that Mercedes were kept sharp.

      By past form, we might see Mercedes win their next double again this season. Ironically, though, it might hurt worse if we were to see another team finally break Mercedes dominance this season, right on the cusp of the major 2021 regulation changes that resets teams back to zero.

      1. @phylyp

        Ironically, though, it might hurt worse if we were to see another team finally break Mercedes dominance this season, right on the cusp of the major 2021 regulation changes that resets teams back to zero.

        Thats a genuine concern held by many fans I think.

      2. Toto has given this same answer, about the pain of losing being the greater and longer lasting then the joy of winning for several years now.

    3. Some wag posted on a F1 site that while the other teams bring truck loads of testing equipment to Barcelona, Mercedes bring a truck full of sand bags.
      I rekon this yr will be more competitive.

    4. Mercedes knows well the pains of loosing.

      Picture yourself being a manufacturer with a hefty budget, a very good team of engineers, a strong engine, a 7X WDC driving for you…and yet you loose.

      That’s Mercedes from 2010-2013

      1. Except Merc didn’t have a hefty budget from 2010-2013. Brawn, Schumacher and Haug lobbied hard in Stuttgart to either provide more budget or stay on as an engine provider only. Ross talked about it in the beyond a grid episode.

        1. If they could afford to hire Schumacher…

    5. Fraga’s emergence as a genuine talent in real cars—after being a dominant figure in the GT Sport esports scene—is maybe the most exciting news of all. It feels like a glimpse of the future of motorsport, where esports is seen not just as a shadow of the real thing or something that “real” drivers do in their spare time to train and reach out to fans, but as a genuine and accessible rung of the junior racing ladder.

      And it would be brilliant to have another Brazilian climbing the ranks. Looking forward to seeing how he gets on in F3 this year.

      1. I think Fraga should be looked as different kind of positive success story. He was always good IRL racer, had raced in F3 but had no budget to continue competing. No doubts of his talent and sim racing definitely helped his development. And to beat Lawson in NZ… fantastic. Conquering Sim competitions was really last step to getting sponsorship deals, getting recognition and budget, proving to ‘people with means and connections’ that he is great in ‘both worlds’
        Good for motorsport to have such talent get the place on the grid… more deserved than Rangunathan or Nissany.
        We already had real ‘sim to grid’ successful transitions so it should come as just another avenue for helping talent rise irrespective of financial status.

      2. I hope Charouz deliver him a good car, he proved to be skilled enough to handle pressure and be a front runner. His european career started at Formula Regional last year, he got in the car just one day before the start of the season, and still he managed to win 4 races and be the only threat for the Prema drivers.

    6. The intense pain if losing crumbs out of my cookies.

    7. Is it me or Wolff’s quotes look like a cheap self-help book or a postcard with a sunset?

    8. Don’t agree with the COTD at all. I grew up watching single seaters with open cockpits, and it has no effect on how I perceive the new cars. I’ve always felt that a canopy ala the Red Bull X2010 would look better than an open cockpit anyway.

    9. Only 1st matters. And a 1st and 2nd as a team on the podium. But 2nd is the 1st of those coming last. Thats Totos underline message.

    10. For sporting sake, I hope there is a lot of “drive” for them this year with many looses driving them to work harder.

      It will be a major surprise for me personally if they are anywhere but on top this year.

    11. I don’t really agree with the COTD. While I, like many, grew up watching single-seaters with open cockpits, I still got used to the Halo immediately without a problem, and its presence hasn’t bothered me one bit at any point. I don’t even have issues with adapting when changing between modern cars and classic cars in the official F1 game.

    Comments are closed.