Brazilian Grand Prix – Mercedes’ boss Toto Wolff will miss his first race in over six years this weekend, as he won’t be going to Interlagos.
Mercedes will be racing in Brazil this weekend without team boss Toto Wolff in attendance – the first time since before the current hybrid era that Wolff has missed a Grand Prix.
Speaking ahead of the weekend, Wolff said that wrapping up the two titles with two rounds to go this season means that he can now do some work at home in Europe in other areas – one of these being the upcoming Formula E season opener next weekend, where Mercedes EQ enter the series for the first time as a full time competitor.
“Brazil will be the first race since 2013 that I won’t attend.” confirmed Wolff. “With both championships secured, it gives me more time in Europe to focus on other open topics. It’s great to be able to do this and to know that the team will represent the three-pointed star in the best way possible both on and off the track.”
In Wolff’s stead, Technical Director James Allison will be the man in charge on the ground in Brazil for Mercedes.
With Mercedes wrapping up the Constructor’s and Driver’s Championships in Mexico and the United States respectively, there’s always the chance that the team might step off the gas with two rounds remaining in Brazil in Abu Dhabu. Wolff says that’s not the case, though, as Mercedes aim to end the season with momentum heading into 2020 and the last year of the current regulations, after being put under pressure from Ferrari in the second half of this year.
“We have two races to go in the 2019 season and we want to end this season on a high.” Wolff said. “The next stop takes us to Brazil which brings back fond memories from last year when we were not only able to win the race but also secure the constructors’ championship at Interlagos. It’s a very short track which makes qualifying particularly challenging as the margins are very small. We have generally not had the fastest car on Saturdays since the summer break, but we were able to take pole in Austin and will try to fight for a front row start again at Sao Paulo.”
Wolff said there’s absolutely no chance of the team backing off, as he can still feel the hunger for more success at his team: “Last week we had the chance to celebrate the championships with everyone at Brixworth and Brackley – the 1,500 men and women that form this amazing team and made this extraordinary success possible. It is always a special moment and this year’s was particularly special as our sixth consecutive double sets a new benchmark in our sport. But despite this record-breaking achievement, I still feel a lot of hunger and desire for more achievements. There’s no sense of complacency, everybody is still determined to keep on improving. It’s an inspiring group of people that fully lives up to the Mercedes aspiration of being the best.”