Wolff says he studied Man Utd to understand why 'great teams' decline

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff says he studied Manchester United to understand why ‘great teams’ decline, as the Austrian plots a route back to the Formula One summit after a slow start to the season

  • Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says research for his F1 side led to studying Man Utd 
  • He looked at United to understand why ‘great teams’ can’t sustain their success
  • Wolff says being ‘complacent’ and ‘not as ambitious’ are reasons for declining
  • Mercedes have fallen from the summit of the Formula One table this season 

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff claims he studied Manchester United to understand why ‘great teams’ are not able to sustain their success.

Similarly to the Red Devils, Mercedes have struggled this year and failed to bounce back following a dramatic end to last season’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – where Red Bull ran victorious.

And in a bid to change their luck, Wolff claims he looked at the Premier League side to understand why the 20-time English champions are ‘not able to repeat great title’ runs.

Toto Wolff has been searching for ways to restore Mercedes at the top of the F1 standings

The racing chief says he looked at Manchester United to understand why ‘great teams’ decline

In an interview with the Financial Times, Wolff said: ‘I studied why great teams were not able to repeat great title [runs],’ before citing United’s spell under Ferguson.

‘No sports team in any sport has ever won eight consecutive World Championship titles and there are many reasons for that, and what is at the core is the human. The human gets complacent. You are not energised in the same way you were before. You are maybe not as ambitious.’

Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton was denied a record-breaking eighth World Championship title after Red Bull’s Max Verstappen passed him on the final lap, following controversial decisions from former F1 race director Michael Masi.   

Mercedes’ car has proven to be inconsistent this season too. They are some way off last year’s rivals Red Bull, and have fallen behind Ferrari in the pecking order too.

Wolff likened United’s successful era under Sir Alex Ferguson to Mercedes’ recent years

Lewis Hamilton was denied an eighth World Championship by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen

Meanwhile, Wolff has dismissed suggestions that he is looking to replace Hamilton with Sergio Perez next term. 

The 37-year-old’s struggles this season have triggered suggestions that Mercedes may look to move him on at the end of the year, but Wolff, via the Independent, has branded the claims ‘complete bull****’.

Hamilton’s current deal with Mercedes runs to the end of 2023, but there have been suggestions he could leave the current constructors champions before then.

Several names have been brandished as possible replacements, including Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Perez, but Wolff has insisted he has never called the Mexican driver.  

Wolff denied claims that he’s looking to replace Hamilton – despite a slow start this season

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