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F1 | Toto Wolff on cancelled Team Principals' Parade: "It should be the drivers who are at the forefront"

F1 Team Principals' popularity continues to rise but Toto Wolff told select media, which included Motorlat, that this was an event he'd rather avoid.

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F1 | Toto Wolff on cancelled Team Principals' Parade: "It should be the drivers who are at the forefront"
Fuente imagen: Hasan Bratic - Motorlat

The inaugural Formula One Miami Grand Prix was supposed to feature the first ever track parade of F1 Team Principals. This part of the event has now been cancelled just a few weeks before the Miami Grand Prix. The news was a disappointment for a section of the F1 fanbase but Team Principal of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, Toto Wolff told select media, which included Motorlat, that the cancellation of the parade is the right move as this is an event, he’d ‘rather avoid’.

Netflix production Drive to Survive has certainly made cult heroes of a section of Formula One Team Principals. Top of the standings is surely Guenther Steiner due to his openness and memorable phrases. The organisers of the Miami Grand Prix thought that their race would be an opportune time to launch the first track parade of team principals - not just team drivers.

There had been some uncertainty as to whether the track parade was cancelled or not as sources had only responded to the fact it was no longer on the published schedule but F1 had not made a formal announcement. After Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, in discussion with select media (which included Motorlat), Toto Wolff shared his understanding of the situation:

“I think the parade is cancelled.” This news was met with a reply of ‘I’m sorry” which in turn was followed up with:

“I’m not sorry, I'd rather avoid. I don't think that the principles/team owners should be waving at the fans. I love the fans but it should be the drivers who are at the forefront. They are the athletes and the gladiators in the machines and not any of us.” Wolff concluded.

News of a potential cancellation first made headlines when insider.com reported the comments of McLarenracer Daniel Ricciardo. When the Honey Badger was asked about the idea of the parade of team principals, he implied that it had been cancelled but also admitted that the concept was a strange one to him:

"I don't want to be mean to the team principals," Ricciardo said with his trademark smile "It was a little strange that they would be doing a parade. It felt a little over-the-top. I don't want to rob them of their moment, but maybe that was a little too much."

It is clear though that the profile of Team Principals in F1 is reaching new levels of interest.

When a group photo of all but one F1 team boss having a meal with FIA personnel ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, made its way to social media, it was noted that Aston Martin’s F1 team main man, Mike Krack, was absent. This was then met the following day with Krack being asked about his absence from the viral photograph – which had sent shockwaves through social media. His reply was: “Yeah, because I took the picture. No, seriously, no, I was not present. We had a little communication problem that prevented me from going so that that's the reason behind it.”

Such a situation would have hardly been newsworthy a decade ago, but this is a very different sport today. As such, it shows that the fanbase is becoming just as intrigued by the life of those people around the car and not just the drivers within it.

However, what would be truly groundbreaking would be a parade of the team mechanics. As we saw on numerous occasions last season and have already seen this season, whether it be world record breaking pitstops or reassembling cars with little to no time – the achievements of these men and women are certainly worth celebrating.  

Maybe one day, productions like Drive to Survive will shift the spotlight onto this group of individuals. Remarkable men and women all cohesively working to form the bigger picture whilst being away from home for weeks at a time. These individuals remind us that F1 is truly a team sport and should not be ignored.

We do not know what the future holds but we do know that, for now at least, there is no parade of team principals on the calendar. This may be welcome news to Toto Wolff but the way that F1 continues to soar in popularity means that there is every chance of this changing – just not in Miami!


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