Toto Wolff reveals about the chat he had with Alain Prost regarding what went wrong with Ayrton Senna as he adds on target meet ahead of 2014 F1 season.
Mercedes created a record with seven consecutive constructors’ championship wins when they clinched the 2020 F1 title in Imola, thereby surpassing Ferrari. They have been the pick of the teams and even as manufacturer in the current V6 Turbo Hybrid era.
But it hasn’t come easy, especially with the relation between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Post the German’s retirement, with the influx of Valtteri Bottas, it has been much more harmonious but the pre-2017 times is still discussed extensively.
It is something that Mercedes survived in its glory run and Wolff puts it down to no politics as the reason for their continued success. Discussing about the same, the Austrian recalled the chat with Prost, where the Frenchman spoke about the troubles with Senna.
“I think how it evolved was that we have always been very transparent with each other,” said Wolff to Sky F1. “At the beginning of my stint with Mercedes, I remember having a discussion with Alain Prost, and I asked him what went wrong between you and Senna, and he said that sometimes we didn’t know that we had the support of the team or not and there’s politics involved.
“I don’t know if that’s true or not because I wasn’t part of the team and the great era, but we don’t play politics. We play politics outside but not inside, I would never permit it. Transparency, being honest with each other, blaming the problem and not the person, empowering is the values that are utmost importance, that’s why it is a good place and fun place, but it is also a pushy place,” summed up Wolff.
Adding more about their success, Wolff also recalled the pre-2014 meet with his senior team, where they discussed on the target they had in mind for the years ahead. They initially had one title to win on the board but Aldo Costa wanted it to be more ambitious.
“The seventh title is just the culmination of everything, lots of blood, sweat and tears behind the closed doors, a lot of sacrifice which is not visible,” said Wolff. “What’s stand out is the camaraderie within the team over all these years, the right values I guess. And its just that when I think about our achievements in the sport with the support from Germany and Brackley, it just brings smile on our face.
“It would have been totally mad to set such a target. We had one event in off-site where we took our senior leadership and we put a target in the wall in the beginning of 2014 and that target was to win a constructor and driver championship. And Aldo Costa said, I don’t think that is ambitious enough.
“I think we should put up on the wall, multiple constructors and drivers championships. The discussion on the room was that we can put multiple on the wall as it completely unrealistic target. Thank God, we have it everywhere on the wall because it reminded us every year to just continue pushing the boundary and ourselves,” summed up Wolff.
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