Toto Wolff is convinced that this year’s Red Bull’s single-seater is faster in almost every aspect, compared to the Mercedes W12. This, however, represents an additional motivation for Mercedes, according to Wolff.
After years of dominance, Mercedes is ‘finally’ starting to show some weaknesses as Red Bull’s single-seater seems faster this season. Indeed, with this year’s regulations, the Silver Arrows were very disadvantaged as the changes concerning the floor of the 2021 Formula 1 cars have made the W12 very difficult to handle and a lot slower compared to last year. This is probably due to the ‘low rake aspect’ of the car.
Nonetheless, Toto Wolff does not want to give up on this year’s championship in order to prepare for 2022 and the new era of Formula 1 better, as other teams decided to. The Austrian team boss wants to fight for the title and will definitely do everything he can to stop Red Bull from breaking his 7 Constructors’ Championship-winning streak.
The 49-year-old even admitted that this rivalry with Red Bull is actually boosting the mentality of the German team as being the ‘underdog’ gives them additional motivation to do their best and improve everything they can to grab the world title.
“In a way, there is a feeling within the team that we very much enjoy the new circumstances. (…) And it’s that, on paper, Red Bull is ahead with maybe all of their package,” Toto Wolff told Motorsport.com.
“We have to catch up. We have to deploy our A-game and find more performance. But strictly speaking, we are second-best on the road. (…) The fun factor of us being in the hunt is very enjoyable, because it is a new situation, and we embrace this opportunity,” he added.
Toto Wolff also nostalgically reminded us of the 2013 season, being the year of Red Bull’s last constructor’s championship and the last time Mercedes had to fight with a car showing similar if not less pace than their main opponent. Indeed, Mercedes did not really fight for the title in 2013 but rather for the second place, against Ferrari, that they managed to clinch with a 6 points advantage.
“That [being the ‘hunter’] hasn’t been the case since 2013. And I loved 2013. I’ve said it in the team, that I feel like the same pump as when I first joined. And it was Red Bull domination then: they were just going to win the fourth championship.”
Wolff, therefore, wants to show that being the ‘hunter’ in this year’s championship is something really exciting for the silver arrows as they will have to show what they are capable of apart from developing a good car if they want to win their 8th championship in a row. We should nevertheless keep an attentive eye on the W12’s performances as it is almost sure we have not seen everything this car is capable of and there is a high possibility of it being more suited than the RB16B on some tracks of the calendar.