Mercedes Labeled a “Fourth-Rate Team” as Toto Wolff Loses to Andrea Stella’s “Enlightened” Brilliance

3 months ago
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HAMILTON Lewis with WOLFF Toto during the Formula 1 Lenovo Grand Prix de France. French Grand Prix 2022, 12th round of the 2022 FIA Formula One World Championship. July 22 to 24, 2022 on the Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France. DPPI/Panoramic PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxFRAxITAxBEL F12022GP12FRA_JK66762

Toto Wolff-led Mercedes had the most dominant run in F1 History from 2014 to 2020. 7 Straight Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships (and the 8th Constructors’ in a not-so-dominant 2021). It established Wolff as the man to race for and Lewis Hamilton as the driver to hire. Cut to 2024, The Austrian Team Principal no longer has the Silver Arrows exuding the same confidence. Moreover, their customer team McLaren is outclassing them, thanks to new Team Principal Andrea Stella.

Ever Since Zak Brown handed the reigns of McLaren’s F1 team to Stella, the team is going nowhere but up. Both their drivers are happy while Lewis Hamilton, in his last year at Mercedes has had the ‘worst’ start to a year. This surely brings up the question: does Mercedes need a Team Principal who has 360-degree technical know-how, like Andrea Stella?

Addressing the current pecking order, former Ferrari Sporting Director Cesare Fiorio told Formula Passion, “Ferrari this year is clearly the second force on the track behind Red Bull and is already a step forward compared to 2023 when Ferrari alternated (with) McLaren, Mercedes, and Aston Martin. Now Ferrari is superior to these teams and behind it is McLaren which is reaping the benefits of Andrea Stella’s enlightened management.”

Fiorio then elaborated on how Mercedes is descending into mediocrity. “On the other hand, those who are not going through a good period are Mercedes, which now seems to be a fourth-rate team. In recent years it has lost many valuable technicians who have landed in other teams and this has had an impact on the results on the track”.

With Mercedes not understanding what problems they have, Wolff has even said he wants to “punch himself in the nose”.

With Lewis Hamilton leaving for Ferrari, Toto Wolff has a driver problem to address. But the source of that can be traced to the performance of their cars. If their machinery is not good enough, why would a top-class driver join them? At such a crucial junction, the Austrian has also doubted himself.

“I look myself in the mirror every single day about everything I do,” Wolff told Sky Sports. “And if I believe that I should ask the manager question or the trainer question, I think it’s a fair question. But it’s not what I feel at the moment that I should do.”

The team that produced the mighty W11 in the turbo-hybrid era is now scrambling for points. Is this the end of an era for the Silver Arrows?…Read more by Yash Kotak

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