Toto Wolff responds to Helmut Marko’s digs on Lauda and Hamilton

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Recently Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko said Mercedes was lacking Niki Lauda’s guidance, and insinuated that Lewis Hamilton was faking his back pain. Toto Wolff responds.

While appearing on Fellner! Live, on OE24.TV, Helmut Marko said Mercedes is missing its former non-executive director Niki Lauda, who would have perhaps dealt with the team’s current issues differently.

“I think the turnaround in Formula 1, the enthusiasm that is there now, has come about because we have managed to break the dominance of Mercedes,” Marko said.

“They have been at the top for seven years and suddenly there is a competitor and you have to deal with that.

“I think Lauda’s balanced mentality is missing here at Mercedes. Maybe he would have done it very differently.

“But when you’re used to winning and then defeat comes, it’s always a difficult situation,” the Austrian concluded.

The Österreich newspaper asked Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff to give his response.

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“That’s Helmut,” Toto said.

“He’s always teasing, that’s okay. But what’s true is: Niki is always missing. I miss him as a friend and as a sparring partner and also as chairman.

“Believe me, I would rather fight with Niki now than alone.”

After the Canadian Grand Prix, where Lewis Hamilton finished in P3, Marko had insinuated that the back pain Lewis felt a week earlier at Baku, might have been faked.

“Hamilton got out of the car quickly today,” he said, “when he’s on the podium, it’s a lot easier.”

When asked about this, Toto simply responded with:

“He’s got that under control, the back is no longer a big issue.”

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