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Wolff: Williams success key to greatest Mercedes race

Toto Wolff has been in charge of Mercedes since 2013 but, despite all of their success, feels their best race came early on in their domination.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has selected the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix as his most memorable race in Formula 1 - in part due to the success of Williams. Despite overseeing 115 Grand Prix victories, eight Constructors' and seven Drivers' titles in his tenure in charge, Wolff's selection came at a time when Mercedes had just a handful of wins and no titles. The Austrian GP returned to the calendar in 2014, having fallen off in 2003, backed by late Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz. It has since become one of the more popular events, one which has seen a lot of success for the Red Bull Racing team in recent seasons. However, Wolff believes the inaugural race at what is now known as the Red Bull Ring was the standout performance, owing to his ties to the Williams squad.

Williams success for Wolff

Wolff entered F1 as an investor in the Williams team, before moving over to Mercedes in 2013 and still retaining shares in Frank Williams' concern. His wife Susie was a development driver for Williams at the time, turning out on four occasions across 2014 and 2015 in FP1 sessions. At the Austrian GP in 2014, Williams secured a front-row lockout through Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, with Mercedes' Nico Rosberg taking third. Lewis Hamilton was only 10th, but come the chequered flag on race day, Rosberg led Hamilton, Bottas and Massa across the line for a Mercedes-powered 1-2-3-4 finish. It is this achievement Wolff pointed to on the F1 Beyond The Grid podcast when selecting his greatest race. "I was still emotionally connected to Williams, Susie was part of the team and I think I even held some shares back then," he explained. "We finished first, second, third and fourth with Mercedes and Williams in a row and as a co-owner of these two teams. I remember driving home on the same road that I used to commute on when I was an instructor at the racing school on the Red Bull [Ring], there was an unbelievable feeling of 'it can't possibly be happening'. "That was in Formula 1, I'm responsible for the team and we just scored the first four positions [in a Grand Prix], it was a really happy moment. "The dominance only lasts for a few hours. You collect the trophy and then the wheel continues to turn."

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