Wolff sought Prost’s advice to avoid Senna-like rivalry issues

Toto Wolff has revealed he asked Alain Prost about his rivalry with Ayrton Senna in a bid to avoid similar issues with his Formula 1 drivers at Mercedes.

Wolff sought Prost’s advice to avoid Senna-like rivalry issues

Mercedes wrapped up a record-breaking seventh consecutive F1 constructors’ championship at Imola earlier this month, while Lewis Hamilton is poised to match Michael Schumacher’s record of seven drivers’ titles as early as this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix.

Since Wolff took the reins at Mercedes in 2013, the team has established itself as one of the most dominant forces in F1 history, placing a strong emphasis on company culture and looking after its people.

It has always given its drivers equal treatment and sought to avoid any conflict, with Hamilton’s existing partnership with Valtteri Bottas proving incredibly civil.

Wolff revealed that he spoke to four-time world champion Prost soon after taking over at Mercedes, asking what caused such issues with Senna during their rivalry at McLaren in the late 1980s.

“We have always been very transparent with each other,” Wolff said.

“At the beginning of my stint with Mercedes, I remember a discussion with Alain Prost. I said to him, ‘what went wrong between you and Senna?’

“He said that sometimes, we didn’t know whether we had the support of the team or not. There was always politics involved.

“Now I don’t know if that is true because I was not part of that, and certainly they had a great era.

“But we don’t play politics. We play politics outside, but we don’t play any politics inside. I would never permit it.

“Transparency, being honest with each other, blaming the problem and not the person, and empowering are the values that are of utmost importance to us.

“That’s why it’s a good place, a fun place, but it’s also a pushing place.”

Read Also:

Prost and Senna spent two tumultuous seasons together as teammates at McLaren in 1988 and 1989, ending in a crash that decided the world championship at Suzuka in Prost’s favour.

Prost quit McLaren to join Ferrari, where he again fought Senna for the title in 1990 and a repeat incident occurred at Suzuka with a crash to settle the championship, with Senna prevailing.

Mercedes has not experienced any on-track issues between its drivers since Nico Rosberg’s exit at the end of the 2016 season.

The German driver retired from F1 just days after beating Hamilton to the world championship, with the relationship between the pair having deteriorated through their final year as teammates.

shares
comments

Related video

What's new for Formula 1 2021
Previous article

What's new for Formula 1 2021

Next article

Kvyat vows to "keep pushing" despite worries on F1 future

Kvyat vows to "keep pushing" despite worries on F1 future
Load comments
The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom Prime

The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom

Sell out crowds at Formula 1 races are the norm rather than the exception these days, as grand prix racing is enjoying a massive boom under Liberty Media. But the Spanish Grand Prix highlighted numerous issues some circuits may face as demand for F1 soars

The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice Prime

The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice

OPINION: Red Bull walked into a team orders saga on its way to taking a Spanish Grand Prix 1-2 last weekend, where it took the lead of the 2022 Formula 1 world championships for the first time. But its decisions have added an element of risk to later races.

Formula 1
May 25, 2022
Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed Prime

Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed

Mercedes' strong showing in last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix prompted team boss Toto Wolff to say it had halved its deficit to the leaders and its Formula 1 title chances were back on after a rocky start to the 2022 campaign. But a closer inspection of the team's performance suggests its gains aren't as grand as they first appeared

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy? Prime

What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy?

From the 'pink Mercedes' to the 'Green Red Bull', the Silverstone-based team has received suspicious glares from up and down the Formula 1 paddock over its car design exploits. But after being cleared by the FIA over its Spanish Grand Prix updates amid a backdrop of cries of foul play, what's next in this saga?

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

In an unusually hectic Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was denied a dominant performance by his Ferrari engine letting go which allowed Max Verstappen to pick up the pieces. But numerous flashpoints kept the race twisting and turning throughout, with one perfect score from an emerging contender

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain Prime

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari engine disaster offered an open goal for Max Verstappen and Red Bull to strike, but the reigning Formula 1 world champion still had to solve multiple errors and profit from a begrudged assist from team-mate Sergio Perez, which created an unexpectedly eventful Spanish Grand Prix

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Prime

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start...

Formula 1
May 20, 2022
The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries Prime

The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries

The VW Group’s German superpowers of sportscar racing have all but confirmed they are coming to F1 when the next set of engine rules come into force in 2026. Here's why both manufacturers are all set to take the plunge, and crucially how it might work

Formula 1
May 19, 2022