Mercedes suffered again during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, so much that both the Silver Arrows finished without scoring any points. Toto Wolff’s disappointment is comprehensible, especially considering that his team’s debacle left the World Championship’s lead in Red Bull’s hands but what’s to analyse, is the way he expressed it.
The Austrian slammed his punch on the bank, passed his hands thorugh his hair in desperation and looked extremely angry and disenchanted, almost in panic.
That behaviour didn’t pass unseen. Many “memes” and short videos of his reaction were tweeted around on the Internet and it gets worse: after the race, the team principal of Mercedes spent bitter words on his team.
From to 🤩 to 😱 in seconds. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster this weekend, Team. pic.twitter.com/NQAAb8rkjJ— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) June 6, 2021
“It is not only the incident at the end, that frustrates, - stated Wolff - It's overall not meeting our own expectations. All of us together: Lewis [Hamilton], the engineers, myself, everybody in the team."
His direct rival, Christian Horner, firmly criticized Wolff’s words; the Austrian had said Mercedes' performance in Baku was “unacceptable”.
“I mean, a lot has been made about Toto's comments this weekend," explained Horner, making a clear referral to Wolff’s critics on the flexi-wings saga, and who had been addressed as 'a bit of a windbag' by the Mercedes’s team principal.
“He's never afraid to roast his team so publicly, which I disagree with. But that's his prerogative,” Horner continues.
At this point, Red Bull’s boss focused on his own team, which now beholds the leadership, ensuring that he will not lose his grasp on them.
“It looked like we're going to do a bit more damage than we ended up doing, but we've just got to grab our opportunities when they present themselves. It goes in swings and roundabouts,- the Briton said, talking about the tyre failure that costed Verstappen the win of the race. - Max could have come out of the weekend putting 10 or 11 points into his championship lap with the fastest lap if it had finished where it was with five to go. So he could have been 15 up. He's still four up, but at one point he was looking like he could be 21 down if Lewis had nicked the victory. So, it's swings and roundabouts and I think it's going to do this, while the cars' performance is so close, throughout this championship.
“That makes it so exciting to be a part of. It just motivates everybody in the team to a whole new energy level.- Horner adds. It is entertaining to watch a F1 Championship with two contenders that are teams, not teammates of the same team. Wolff’s not used anymore to hold this pressure but he definitely will have to activate a new self-control if he wants his team not to crack and face a confident, calm and positive team principal who has experience both in failing and winning Championships titles like Christian Horner.