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Mercedes-Red Bull rivalry compared to ‘two boxers’ trading blows by Toto Wolff

Mercedes and Red Bull fought tooth and nail during the 2021 season to give F1 fans one of the closest title battles the sport has seen in recent memory. Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has compared this two-way battle for both world championships to a pair of boxers going at each other in the middle of a ring.

The 50-year-old Austrian made the comments during an interview with the German publication Auto Motor und Sport. Wolff was asked about his team’s battle with Ferrari and Red Bull when he said:

“With the Ferrari, the power came from the engine. We knew we could beat them if we managed to make up for the deficit on the straights. Ferrari also made more mistakes. With Red Bull, it was an open exchange of blows, like two boxers taking turns trading punches.”

Barring the Hungarian Grand Prix and the Italian Grand Prix, every other race in 2021 was won by either a Red Bull or Mercedes driver. Max Verstappen won 10 races while Lewis Hamilton had eight wins to his name during the duo’s epic title fight.

Wolff also acknowledged his team’s power unit issues. Mercedes had to take on more engines than they have in recent seasons amidst speculation of reliability issues. He said:

“We didn’t lose the championship because of the engine, but it’s true we had problems for the first time in eight years. At first, it only affected a component from a bad production run. This developed into an epidemic in which the engines lost more power over the period than they used to.”

Red Bull, on the other hand, had impeccable reliability across the 2021 campaign. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner had even stated that had it not been for their crash at Silverstone, Verstappen could have completed the season with only three power units.


Mercedes confirm 2022 car launch date

Having ended the 2021 season with their eighth consecutive constructors’ world championship, Toto Wolff’s squad hopes to pick up in 2022 from where they left off. The Brackley-based team have confirmed they will reveal their upcoming W13E on February 18 next month.

18/2/22. 🗓️ Meet the Mercedes-AMG F1 W13 E Performance 🤩 https://t.co/uv6oCGmNHh

The team will use a new ‘E-Performance’ badge, similar to all the existing Mercedes-AMG hybrid cars the company currently makes.

While the team has not mentioned either Lewis Hamilton or George Russell by name, the press release issued by them mentions senior leadership and their drivers will address the press during the launch event. If so, it could be Hamilton’s first press appearance since the controversial end to the 2021 season in Abu Dhabi.




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