With a fifth consecutive Formula 1 World Championship title under its belt, Mercedes-AMG ‘s Toto Wolff isn’t too worried about a scarcity of skill or motivation within his team—that’d be silly. Actually, Wolff has decided to shift his focus toward the mental and physical health of his group by employing a team of psychologists to keep the winning streak going without leading to potential exhaustion, according to Motorsport.
Lewis Hamilton secured the squad’s fifth consecutive World Constructors’ title at the Brazilian Grand Prix last month, garnering himself the 50th Grand Prix win of the hybrid V-6 era, with teammate Valtteri Bottas finishing the championship in a somewhat disappointing fifth place.
“I don’t think complacency was ever a factor within our team, because the group is very motivated and we set objectives together that we are passionate about,” Wolff told Motorsport. “It is more about how you can maintain those levels of energy. Sometimes a level of energy can become unhealthy and that is an area that we are putting a lot of effort into in order to be able to continuously perform at these levels.”
Formula 1 is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world, with drivers having to endure extreme gravitational forces while making split-second decisions that could cost them everything over the course of several hours. As such, Wolff is spot-on in using his powers as CEO to provide his team with all the physical and mental tools they need to remain stable and effective, as opposed to focusing squarely on results.
“As an organization, we are looking at the working environment,” explained Wolff. “We are looking at nutrition, we are looking at sleep, we are looking at medical support, we are looking at sports, and we are looking at giving days off, sending people home, if we feel they are not in a good frame of mind. We are looking at psychologists, we are looking at mindfulness at the team. I could speak here for another hour and say what we are doing.”
To be clear, Wolff’s position here concerns more than just the Mercedes-AMG drivers that are in the spotlight of these triumphant Grand Prix victories, as he intends to cover everyone from the pit crew and those traveling to races around the globe with the team. To Wolff, these are fortunately more than mere cogs in a successful money-making machine, and require the attention stress induced professionals need. Plus, given Hamilton’s outrageous salary, we highly doubt he could take a race weekend off for not being “in the right state of mind.”
“In a modern advanced organization like a sports team that is traveling to 21 Grands Prix every year, you need to be aware that the humans are your key resource,” said Wolff. “It is not about the one that talks (to the media) and speaks to the car, or the one that sits in the car. It is the 1,800 that sit in the background and have to perform every single day and have to be better than the opposite number in the other team. We have to look after them and us.”
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