Toto Wolff to attend Japanese GP amid team's bad 2024 F1 season start

Apr 03, 2024

Tokyo [Japan], April 3 : Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff will attend this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix despite originally planning to miss it, as Sky Sports reported.
According to Sky Sports, following last month's Australian Grand Prix, it was generally rumoured that Wolff would be missing at Suzuka as part of a pre-season schedule. However, Mercedes has announced that the Austrian will now compete in the fourth round of the campaign.
Wolff's timetable modification follows the Silver Arrows' dismal start to the season. A double DNF in Australia last time out left Mercedes fourth in the constructors' standings, 72 points behind Red Bull, with Ferrari only four points behind the leaders.
Following the retirements of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in Melbourne, Wolff stated that it was "fair" to question his position as team principal.
The Australian Grand Prix was one of Wolff's lowest points, with Mercedes' lack of pace compounded by Hamilton's engine failure and Russell's late collision.
"As a corner of this business, I need to be sure that my contribution is positive and accretive. I would be the first one to say, if someone has a better idea, tell me, because I'm interested to turn this team around as quickly as possible. And I'll happily give my input and see what that would be or who that could be," Wolff said in Melbourne as quoted by Sky Sports.
Wolff led a run of record success as Mercedes won eight consecutive constructors' titles between 2014 and 2021, although the team has only won one race since new design regulations were implemented in 2022.
"We have a physics problem, not a philosophical or organisational problem. We haven't swallowed a dumb pill since 2021. It's just we don't understand some of the behaviours of the car, that in the past we would have always understood," he added.
"I look myself in the mirror every single day about everything I do, and if I believe that I should ask the manager question or the trainer question, I think it's a fair question, but it's not what I feel at the moment that I should do," Wolff said.