Toto Wolff: “Once the flag drops, the bulls*** stops”

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Toto Wolff says the recent period in Formula 1 has been “the most political” he’s ever been a part of and sends a message to “certain people”.

In an interview with ESPN Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said the recent period in Formula 1 was highly political with teams trying to use these uncertain times to improve their position, especially as it pertains to the introduction of the budget cap in 2021 and rule changes set for 2022.

“I’ve been in the sport since 2009 with Williams and I’ve never seen so much opportunism and manipulation,” said the Austrian.

“There are sides of the sport that I question and, at times, the sport itself became background music and not the main act anymore.

“I’ve learned a lot about various people and, as much as I know that this is a highly political environment and everybody tries to gain a benefit, I would say that these past six months were the most political times in Formula One that I have been part of.”

However Wolff is happy to stay out of it and do his talking on the track.

“First of all, in a sense, it [the lockdown] was good because I didn’t need to interact with certain people.

“On the other side, you could clearly see that there were people that felt the need to communicate over the media.

“But at the end, you know, all that is irrelevant. Why we love the sport is because it all comes down to performance.

“Once the flag drops, the bullshit stops. And the bullshit is going to stop soon and then all these interviews and all these opinions become irrelevant.”

One of the people Wolff could be talking about is Red Bull’s advisor Dr Helmut Marko who criticized Mercedes’ junior drivers programme, saying they never promoted a single young driver and instead relied on signing drivers from other teams. Wolff responded in an interview with RTL.

“There have been people again who want to say something about our junior programme and whether we’re doing it well or not, but I think during the last six years we have answered all the questions, right?”

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