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Toto Wolff

Wolff: 'Fair' to question his leadership of Mercedes

Toto Wolff and Mercedes faced another difficult F1 weekend in Australia with both drivers failing to score points

To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has acknowledged it “fair” to question his leadership role within the organisation following a disappointing start to the new F1 season.

The Brackley-based squad endured a difficult Australian Grand Prix weekend which saw Lewis Hamilton initially retire on lap 17 with a power unit issue.

Mercedes' hopes for a points finish rested with George Russell, however, the Briton crashed at turn 6 on his penultimate lap while chasing Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso for sixth place. The stewards later handed the Spaniard a 20-second penalty.

The effective double-DNF, even though Russell was classified 17th, continues its lacklustre form under the current generation of cars which have been in play since 2022.

Wolff announced earlier this year that he had extended his contract with Mercedes, which now runs until the end of 2026.

But when asked if he is still the right figure to spearhead the team, Wolff told media including, RacingNews365: “I need to make sure that my contribution is positive.

“So I would be the first one to say, 'If somebody has a better idea, tell me'.

”I'm interested [in] turning this team around as quickly as possible, and I'll happily give my input on what that would be, or who that could be.”

Mercedes issue is 'physics, not organisational'

Wolff's extension was shortly followed by a long-term commitment penned by technical director James Allison.

A few weeks later, however, Lewis Hamilton announced he would shortly leave the team at the end of the year to join rivals Ferrari.

Amid ongoing concerns with its car, Wolff has denied that Mercedes has an issue with its organisation.

“We have a physics problem, not a philosophical or organisational problem,” Wolff said.

“We haven't swallowed a dumb pill since 2021, we just don't understand some of the behaviours of the car [while] in the past we would have always understood.

“I look at myself in the mirror every single day about everything I do. If I believe that I should ask the manager question or the trainer question, I think it's a fair question.

“It's not what I feel at the moment that I should do. But if you have any ideas about who could turn this around, I would happily listen to them.”

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