If you’re involved in a sport, you want to win and to be on top. Once you’re on top of the sport things change.
Dynamics within the team change. The way members of the team interact with the public changes. Humility is left at the side of the road and a sense of entitlement slowly creeps in.
I remember when Mercedes came back into Formula 1 as a works team with Ross Brawn as the Team Principal. He has achieved success at Benetton and Ferrari as Technical Director and I knew that after the early rough days good things would be around the corner. He presides over the team as it developed the W05. He laid the foundation for what the Mercedes team is today and he set the car brand that I loved as a little girl on the road to success in Formula 1.
In November 2013, Ross Brawn would step aside as Team Principal in favor of Paddy Lowe and Toto Wolff with Niki Lauda as Non Executive Chairman. This management would oversee the team with drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg as they would win several races and both the Constructor’s Championship and the Driver’s Championship for the 2014 season.
As the 2015 season opened, there were increased expectations for the team given the dominance Mercedes had shown during the 2014 season. It was expected that Mercedes would win the races given the fact that they are so far ahead of the other Formula 1 teams performance wise.
The expectation of winning and success has had its pitfalls. There have been disagreements between drivers, humility going by the side of the road, a sense of entitlement, and annoyance when the team’s drivers don’t win.
The fact that the other teams are winning the grands prix should be celebrated because it will help bring more fans back to the sport. This is something Formula 1 needs as the sport struggles to find its place in a very crowded sports marketplace.
Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team thinks that their poop doesn’t stink. This attitude is reflective of many people in the top echelon of Formula 1 who think that if a person isn’t worth anything if they don’t have millions of dollars.
There have been bonehead calls made on tire selection, pit stops, etc. and instead of owning the mistakes; something or someone else is blamed. It is so disgusting.
Why does it matter to me? I loved Formula 1 and Mercedes-Benz since I was a little girl and Toto Wolff is my cousin. What makes it even more difficult is the fact that he may suffer the same fate as my father and many of his male cousins, uncles, other male family members by the age of 57.
Toto is almost like my father every way that my father was at Toto’s age. My father was also a college dropout from humble beginnings who had an incredible drive to see that companies and organizations that he was involved with ran smoothly, efficiently, and effectively. We didn’t have much growing up but we had enough.
My father was about Toto’s age when he found out about a genetically linked cancer that had claimed the lives of many of his male cousins, uncles, and other male family members all by the age of 57.
He would end up getting diagnosed with stage 4 cancer right around the time that he turned 57 and would be gone 5 months later. Every doctor I spoke to said that the cancer was genetically linked just like his other family members.
We used to watch races, baseball, football, and basketball. He used to take me horseback riding too. We always had a good size garden and fruit trees.
My father was who he was and didn’t change for anyone unlike Toto who now seems to change depending on which way the wind is blowing so that it benefits Mercedes. The man that is so much like my father in so many ways is so unlike him in this way. That’s not good especially as the leader of the team.
Toto needs to get the team’s feet back on the ground and, most importantly, get his humility back. He needs to realize one thing too….
As fast as Mercedes ascended to the penthouse of Formula 1, they can fall down to the ditch.