DTM-style team orders “not going to happen in Formula 1” – Wolff

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[raceweekendpromotion]In the round-up: The controversial team orders seen in DTM’s finale wouldn’t happen in Formula 1, according to Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.

In brief

Inter-team orders “modus operandi” in DTM but not part of F1 – Wolff

Feature: Are the team orders used in DTM’s controversial finale legal in Formula 1?
The championship-deciding final race of Germany’s top touring car series prompted criticism after the drivers from one Mercedes customer team slowed dramatically to help a driver from a rival Mercedes customer clinch the championship.

Could a similar scenario involving F1 title contenders Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen unfold? Wolff says no.

“In my opinion, that has never happened in Formula 1, that other teams have given up positions for anybody else, at least not in my recollection,” he said.

“In touring cars it’s a modus operandi in the DTM that we have known for a long time. In the DTM 30 years ago, they started to do that and we saw that also in the last race. But that’s not going to happen in Formula 1.”

More races in Americas ‘better for time zone’

Alejandro Soberon, the president of Mexico City Grand Prix promoter CIE, says having more F1 races in the Americas will be better for the sport’s global popularity.

“I think the more races that there is in our continent, the better for all the races because it draws more interest in general for people to be able to watch it on TV,” he said. “Or at least more interest to be in this time zone, it’s more interesting to watch a race at 2pm or 1pm or seven at night than do it at seven in the morning or six in the morning or three in the morning. So I think it’s something that it’s good for Formula 1 in general to balance out.

Soberon said he isn’t concerned by regional competition from the two US rounds on the 2022 F1 calendar. “I don’t see that the Miami race has to affect in any way the Mexico race, or the or Austin race, I think there’s enough space.

“Latin America has 500 million people. What you need to have is a race people want to attend and to go and to have the competition where it has to be. I think, in that regard, Formula 1 is a better race and more competitive race than [previous] years.”

Alonso: second title “doesn’t feel like it was 15 years ago”

Alonso won both his F1 titles in Brazil
Fernando Alonso is returning to the scene of both his world championship victories this weekend, the last of which occured in 2006.

“Obviously, the place brings back very good memories and it doesn’t feel like it was 15 years ago that I won my second title there,” said Alonso. “We had a strong package that year, but as the season entered the latter stages the Ferraris were very quick and consistent.

“However, Michael [Schumacher] had a retirement in Suzuka, which was the round just before Brazil, and this meant we only needed one point to take the championship. In the end we delivered a good race to finish second and it was enough for the title. The feeling afterwards was amazing.”

Formula 2 test for Williams

Formula 3 race Calan Williams will take part in the post-season test for Formula 2 teams at the Yas Marina from December 18th-18th.

“I’ve been preparing physically for the testing for the past few months,” he said. “The step up to a car that is heavier and corners and accelerates faster than anything I’ve ever experienced before will push me even further, so I need to be ready.”

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Comment of the day

After Dieter’s analysis of how teams might fare with the 2022 regulations, Tifoso1989 says team cutlures might prove less adaptable than the rules, when it comes to how they deliver them.

I don’t expect Red Bull to be the outright fastest from the first race. I think Mercedes will be the team to beat. In any aero rule change Newey himself has admitted that his main concern is to get the car concept right from the beginning which will serve for him and his team as the baseline which they can build on top of it.

I suspect Red Bull (just like in 2017) will launch a basic car to validate the aero concepts and then they will gradually start upgrading it during the first races. Once they have a clear understanding of the development direction they will follow, they will start developing it intensely during the season.

Mercedes on the other hand are famous for getting to validate their car concept during their first outing at Silverstone and make sure everything is running according to the plan. They do have a lot of trust in their simulations, wind tunnel, systems and tools. Then they arrive at Melbourne with a heavily upgraded B-version of their car.

Though anything can happen in F1 and it usually does (Murray Walker). Theoretically speaking someone can still pull a Brawn and have a jump start over the competition.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Brendan, Catalina, Drmouse and Ramatlhodi!

On this day in motorsport

  • Born on this day in 1926: Maria Theresa de Filippis, the first woman to start an F1 race, who did so at the 1958 Belgian Grand Prix driving a Maserati 250F

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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13 comments on “DTM-style team orders “not going to happen in Formula 1” – Wolff”

  1. Either Toto has a terrible memory, or he is simply blinded by his own unsporting attitude.

    Do we really think that Alpha Tauri or Aston Martin wouldn’t move over to let their respective big brothers take an extra point or two to win the championship if the opportunity arises?
    I certainly don’t.

    The manufacturer and political links in DTM are not really very different to the ones in F1. Some might argue that F1’s are even stronger, given the higher stakes involved.

    1. He has to say that.

    2. Let’s play back a few quotes of Wolff (about Russell in Imola):

      the other car is a Mercedes in front of him. In any driver’s development, for a young driver, you must never lose this global perspective. So yeah, lots to learn for him I guess.

      I keep teasing him, I said if he does a good job he can be in a Mercedes, if not we are doing Renault Clio Cup, and today we are closer to the Renault Clio Cup.

      But then of course he was only joking :P

  2. Laughable comment from a man that publicly criticised a Williams driver and then reminded the same driver he was a ‘team mate’ to the Mercedes.

    We don’t even know how often customer teams are given their marching orders for an upcoming race.

    1. There was a report of Williams, obeying a Mercedes “order” somewhere in the past . Will search for the source/link.

    2. Especially considering the man who says it. Toto will never give up a chance to use whatever legal however morally questionable tactic possible to him to win. This man has changed F1 imo.

      1. Of course Senna and Schumacher did horrible stuff in the past. But Toto in my opinion plays a much deeper political game than I remember seeing.

  3. In my opinion, that has never happened in Formula 1, that other teams have given up positions for anybody else, at least not in my recollection,

    I can think of at least three occasions in my own time watching the sport. Williams for McLaren at Jerez 1997. Virtually everybody (with one or two honourable exceptions) for Michael Schumacher at Interlagos 2006. And Toro Rosso for Vettel at Interlagos 2012 (almost catching him out with a yellow flag in the process).

  4. Having more races in North America has one downside:
    More unideal timings for East Asia, where F1 has always had a big following.

    Brad Philpot’s tweet shows why a London GP coming true is unlikely despite a saying never say never.
    London GP proposals have come out ever since 2012, but nothing concrete at any point, so doubtful.

    Another interesting COTD. Possible, but too early for judgment this far in advance.

    1. Instead of London I’d LOVE to see an Edinburgh Grand Prix. That would be crazy and ludicrously picturesque. It would be easier to close the city centre down compared to London. Hold it along Princes St climbing up and back down to the castle and along some of the Royal Mile.

      That’s the circuit of my dreams to see F1 at.

  5. Maybe Toto forgets that time at Spa in 2015 when Mercedes allowed Lotus to run a different map or something so he could catch and overtake Vettel in the Ferrari.

    Or his comments toward Russell at Imola this year…

    Not that Red Bull isn’t guilty of that either, since they use Toro Rosso/Alpha Tauri that way too.

  6. RE: More races in Americas ‘better for time zone’

    Erm, no.

    This timezone effectively alienates most of Asia and Australasia. I live in Perth Western Australia (GMT +8), races on the American continent start between 1 am and 3 am on a Monday morning. My brethren over on the East coast, will be looking at races starting around when they need to leave to work. This would the same across most of the Asian continent as well.

    I’d argue that this time would not be convenient for fans in Europe either, where races are traditionally a “Sunday afternoon” affair. Later races will clash with other “prime time” events as well, like football matches. A lot of the bigger games typically have late Sunday kick offs, case in point, last week’s Milan derby.

    Perhaps I am being selfish!

  7. Welcome to the Americas’ world. 85% of the races occur during the middle of the night for us. So, we have a disproportionate number of non-viewer friendly races. Luckily for me, I am a night owl and love races that begin between midnight and 3am. Sadly though, there are many more races which begin at 5am to 9am, which is the least ideal.

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