Formula 1

Mercedes’ Toto Wolff on Ferrari rivalry: “During the race I would like to punch Maurizio Arrivabene”

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Lewis Hamilton ahead of Scuderia Ferrari at the Spanish Grand Prix Credit: Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team are enjoying the battle with Scuderia Ferrari during the 2017 Formula 1 Season.

Currently Mercedes are leading the Constructors’ Championship with 222 points, ahead of Ferrari by only 214 points. Ferrari has come out of the winter with a competitive car, with Sebastian Vettel winning three Grand Prix, matching Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas has only won once at the Russian Grand Prix so far.

This battle is interesting for the fans, as Ferrari are back to their old ways and there is a bigger chance of them winning the Constructors’. Before this battle, it was an internal rivalry between Nico Rosberg and Hamilton, but with it being predictable, it was starting to get boring. Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff believes the competition is happening in a very sportsmanship way.

“Now we have against all odds, Ferrari coming out of the winter with a fantastic car,” said Wolff to Channel 4. “Sebastian being very energised and motivated and we have a fight on our hands now.

“Things happen for a reason, we enjoy it! It reminded me why I love Formula 1 and why I love the competition, it’s not easy and you don’t know who is going to win. It’s going to be them one time, it’s going to be us one time and it’s all happening in a very sportsmanship way.

“We have strong rivals on track, I wouldn’t want to give them one inch but off track there is a respect for each another and for the individuals, we are able to discuss things for the benefit of Formula 1 overall.”

With compliments from both sides of the competition, it seems like everyone is such one big happy family but there is still a strong rivalry between Mercedes and Ferrari. For Wolff it is painful to see the Brackley-based team not on the top spot of the podium, but he still respects Ferrari, the brand and the passion in Italy.

“You know during the race I would like to punch Maurizio,” added Wolff. “But afterwards I can recognise that they have done a good job.

“I respect Ferrari and the brand and the passion in Italy. You can still hate losing and you know there is this saying, show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser. It’s still painful and it hurts, but keep it within yourself. You can still respect someone else’s job if he’s done it well.”

Channel 4, the home of free-to-air Formula 1 with live coverage of ten Grand Prix this season and comprehensive highlights of every race. To watch the full interview ‘F1 Meets… Toto Wolff’ tune into C4 12:25 on Saturday 24th June.

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