Wolff to place W13 in lobby as ‘a symbol of boldness and courage’
By Ian Parkes
Saturday 18th February, 2023 - 3:04am
Toto Wolff has altered his thinking as to why last season’s W13 will be placed in the lobby of the Mercedes F1 team’s headquarters.
Over the years, a number of cars have taken pride of place in the reception area at Mercedes’ Brackley base.
They have been a symbol of the team’s success given its run of eight consecutive constructors’ titles from 2014-2021.
The bubble burst, though, last season as Mercedes adopted a brave design philosophy following the introduction of new aerodynamic regulations.
At the end of the campaign, seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton – after failing to record a race win for the first time in his 16-season F1 career – said he was glad to see the back of the W13.
Wolff, though, suggested he would place the car in the lobby “as a reminder that you must not rest on your laurels”.
Over the winter, Wolff has altered his thinking as to the reason why the car should now be viewed by all who work at the factory, adopting a more positive approach.
“I want to place it in the lobby because it is a symbol of boldness and courage for me,” said Wolff.
“We took a radical design direction last year, and we dared and we failed.
“So for me, that shows a lot about the mindset of the team, how it is important to cope with success and failure at the same time.
“I wouldn’t want us to go, in any way shape or form, conservative in the future. I want us to take calculated risks and be bold.”
Mercedes 2022 defeat “good long term” – Wolff
Although Mercedes improved over the course of last season, it emerged from it with just one race victory, finishing 244 points behind new champions Red Bull.
Following the launch of the W14, which has retained a degree of the original boldness with its zero sidepod concept, Wolff believes last year’s failure will provide the platform for future success.
“What’s great in the team is that there is so much energy and so much motivation,” added Wolff.
“Because after many very successful years, you always run the risk that it becomes normal or it becomes the baseline to win.
“Obviously we were taught a tough lesson last year that you’ve got to be your best self, the best team in order to fight this formidable competition.
“Therefore, getting it wrong last year, I believe will be good long term.
“We talked about it every single year when we were successful, that eventually, we’re going to have a difficult season because there is no sports team in the world that won every single competition they participated in.
“So that moment arrived last year and it was difficult because it was just not a race that went wrong. It was a whole season, or the whole first half of the season at least.
“So it was about really living to our own standards, staying motivated, not blaming anyone in the organisation, but sticking our heads together and trying to work our way out of the dilemma.
“That’s something that showed the strength of the team and our values and the mindset and hopefully there can be good continuous pace for our growth.”
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