Mercedes’ Toto Wolff Warns F1 Can’t Rein In Max Verstappen: ‘We Cannot Be WWE’

Videos by OutKick

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff warned against making any rule changes designed to level the playing field amid dominating by Red Bull and Max Verstappen.

Look. I love Formula 1, and while qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix was a banger — with Carlos Sainz taking pole for Ferrari — most of this season has been kind of boring.

Sure, there’s action down the order, but most weekends you sit down to watch a Grand Prix and the only question swirling around P1 is how big will Verstappen’s margin of victor be.

Not exactly the most exciting thing to watch.

So, there have been suggestions that maybe F1 needs to step in and figure out a way to level the playing field. However, Wolff — whose Mercedes team would benefit from that greatly and was the dominant team a few years ago — thinks that’s a terrible idea.

“As a team principal, I don’t want to jump on a bandwagon that others have done in the past of saying ‘we need to change the regulations because we can’t continue with the dominance of a team,'” Wolff said, per ESPN. “If a team in a way dominates in a way Max has done with Red Bull, then fair do’s. This is a meritocracy.”

Toto Wolff at Italian Grand Prix
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff watches practice ahead of the Italian Grand Prix. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Wolff Noted That Red Bill Isn’t Breaking Any Regulations

Wolff pointed out that if one team finds success within the constraints of the regulations, it’s up to the rest of the teams to catch up.

“As long as you comply to the regulations, technical, sporting and financial, you just need to say ‘well done.’ It is up to us to catch up, and if that takes a long time, then it takes a long time.”

This is one of the things that amazes me about Red Bull’s dominance. There hasn’t been a word about them doing anything that even runs afoul of the “spirit” of the regulations let alone working around them altogether. That’s rare because normally there’s some kind of scuttlebutt in the paddock regarding some aspect of a dominant team’s car.

It happened before with the flexing of Red Bull’s rear wing. Wolff knows this all too well having endured it during Mercedes’ run of dominance.

“I remember people crying foul when it was us. Entertainment follows sport and not the other way around. We cannot be WWE, scripted content. We don’t want to be scripted content.”

Wolff hit this nail on the head. It may not be the most exciting thing to watch, but we’re seeing this season out of Verstappen and Red Bull is a perfect storm of car and driver. Whatever secret sauce Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey put in the RB19 it simply works for Max Verstappen.

Now, to Wolff’s point, it’s up to the rest of the paddock to find their own secret sauces.

Follow on X: @Matt_Reigle

Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

One Comment

Leave a Reply
  1. On any Sunday you can have a McLaren, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Mercedes or even Alpine in the running for a podium with Red Bull. Feels much more competitive than the last two years. Hell, even Williams is getting in the mix in qualifying.
    I’ll take this over the previous two years of Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull dominance.

Leave a Reply