Toto Wolff reveals why Mercedes would never have a sister team in F1 like arch-rival Red Bull
Red Bull is the only team in the F1 garage with two teams representing them.
Toto Wolff, Red Bull and Alpha Tauri F1 cars
Red Bull is the only F1 constructor to have two teams on the grid—the main team, Red Bull Racing, and the sister team, Alpha Tauri. The energy drinks giant has used AlphaTauri to test its junior drivers as the drivers are considered for a promotion to the senior team. Mercedes Team Principal, Toto Wolff has admitted this effort to be rather effective in F1.
The 51-year-old quickly pointed out that Red Bull has massively gained from running the Faenza-based team. As the Austrian giant can evaluate young talents such as Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen. Toto Wolff said, “It is undoubtedly an advantage to be able to have a team like they have (Red Bull) in which to evaluate the drivers on the field.”
Moreover, the Mercedes team boss mentioned how its rival got the chance to test out Honda with its sister team. Before Red Bull decided to switch to the Japanese automaker for its F1 power units in 2019. Toto Wolff continued, “It was a great advantage in their case to have the possibility to evaluate Honda before moving to the main team.”
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“The best way to do it,” Toto Wolff on Red Bull’s system of two teams
However, Wolff acknowledged the fact that such a structure is extremely costly. The 51-year-old said, “But it is a very expensive operation.” Toto Wolff delved into the different expenses such an approach would take of running an entire team as a testing bed. He explained, “You have to be able to afford to spend 100 million a season to be able to judge the riders.”
Although the Mercedes team boss did admit such a system to be the best method for a constructor in F1, yet, it seems that the Silver Arrows would stay away due to the high costs. Toto Wolff concluded, “I repeat, it’s the best way to do it, but it’s also very expensive.” Wolff had also mentioned losing out on Max Verstappen to Red Bull as Mercedes did not enjoy the privilege of an extra team for junior drivers on the grid.
Thus, Toto Wolff has made it clear that Mercedes will not pursue running a second team on the F1 grid. The Silver Arrows do not seem to find a justification of the extra millions of dollars on another team. Wolff accepts the immense gains Red Bull has made through this method, yet the 51-year-old will not be planning to run a sister team under the Mercedes umbrella in the foreseeable future.
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