A couple of years back, marking the 125 years of Mercedes-Benz used a unique livery in motorsports. Toto Wolff made things more interesting by asking team members to tone themselves to 1950s styled attire.
His plan was simply to celebrate their first F1 entry in 1954. From the team principal to the drivers and mechanics, everyone took part. Toto is a guy who definitely believes in good karma.
Since 2014, Toto Wolff has had plenty of achievements to celebrate. Winning 92 Grand Prix just tells you that motorsport runs in Wolff’s blood.
Under his authority, the Mercedes-AMG F1 Team has now clinched seven consecutive Formula One World Championships.
Toto and Niki making the dream a reality.
In making the Mercedes-AMG F1 Team go from contenders to conquerors, Wolf was always blessed with a very special personality on his side. Niki Lauda was not just the non-executive chairperson of Mercedes. He was the perfect partner for the team. Someone who could lead with example. The team and his personality were always in tight synergy. Nikki was Toto’s noble friend indeed. Niki Lauda was the presence Wolff’s Mercedes Team required.
May 2019 was quite grim for the motorsport world. The year the legend expired. For Wolf, it was depressing of a loss, as the bond they both shared was of high emotional significance.
Also, for many years Niki Lauda suffered horrific burns. It was the crash of 1976 in the German Grand Prix when Lauda was trapped in a ball of flame. He was breathing the fumes for nearly a minute. After being taken out by an air ambulance, doctors revealed his lungs were beyond repair.
It was his defiance that made Lauda come back just after skipping the next two races. It was in Italian Grand Prix ’76 he made a comeback and finished fourth.
Wolff, being so close to the legend as they both were building up the Mercedes, must have had the chance to chat with Niki on the Nürburgring crash.
The character of the absolute legend was something Wolf respected the most. Traveling, eating, and discussing race was the usual routine and how they bonded together.
Romain’s last wish
Season 2020, the year highlighted by pandemic, F1 season saw many crashes. Bahrain Grand Prix had a terrible sight on the initial lap. Romain Grosjean in his HASS was trapped similarly to Lauda in the burning cockpit after the horrifying crash.
On turn three after the race started, the Frenchman’s Car ripped in half as the driver’s compartment was lodged into the barrier during the mishap. The accident was a miracle and with minor injuries, everybody saw Grosjean walking away alive.
Pietro Fittipaldi, who is the son of Emerson Fittipaldi (two-time F1 world champion) replaced him in the Sakhir Grand Prix.
After Posting an emotional video message on Twitter, Grosjean confirmed he will not be the pilot of his machine for the last race of the season. The next race in Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi would have been his last, as the contract with HASS was about to end in 2020.
After drawing a line to his F1 career pursuits, Grosjean announced his indulgence in the Indycar Championship with Dale Coyne Racing. But after being on the Formula One grid for ten years, Romain wanted to bid farewell to F1 on a high note. After the accident, he mentioned his wish of not keeping a terrible impression of his accident.
Wolff’s Mercedes with a good farewell gesture.
“Romain Grosjean will have the last drive offer at Mercedes” Wolff made a public statement. Even though people thought of it as a PR stunt, this sparked interest in many fans and especially in the Frenchmen. Wolff must have grasped the significance of Romain’s desire to make a comeback. Being so close to Nikki, man like Wolf must know how helping it is to get the driver behind the wheels again. What it means to keep the fire alive. Maybe he wants to see his defiant spirit going on.
“What I heard is that he did not want to finish his Formula 1 career with an accident,” said Toto Wolff. “What I said is that if he doesn’t have a drive in Formula 1, and if none of his previous teams, Renault or Haas, would give him a drive, then he could try our machine at a circuit we decide, and maybe he is keen for a Mercedes,” Wolff further revealed.
Romain’s request came after missing out on the last race. “If I don’t[get to race with HASS], I’ll call every single Formula 1 team and see if anyone would offer me a private test in January or so to jump back in the car and have 10, 15 laps for myself.”
Romain Grosjean’s keen eyes might eventually fall on Mercedes garage!
Recently he commented on how the Mercedes crew must be busy with pre-season designing and testing cars. Eventually, he might give Wolff a call regarding a test run. But reaching out to him during such hectic hours is not on his mind.
“I’m still very keen on jumping in the Mercedes F1 car for sure,” on Wednesday Romain said to media.
“It’s an offer that you cannot refuse, just for me to have an understanding of the taste of that car and how it was working. So yes, definitely [interested].
“At the minute I think they’re absolutely flat out in building the new car for the new season and understanding when it’s going to start and how it’s gonna go.
“There hasn’t really been any firm communication,” Grosjean explained.
“I have spoken with someone there and they say right now we are very busy with building the new cars and so on. Which I know – I’ve been Formula 1 long enough to understand that this time of the year the factories are running flat-out as much as you can with COVID, on getting the cars ready.”
“So, I think it’s just not a good time to chase that. But I will give a phone call to Toto at one point and see what can be done.”
“The offer really touched me in a good way. I was surprised that it was such a natural way of going for it. And obviously, I would love to do it.”
Fans can then clearly believe in the possibility of Romain driving for one last time. Romain might succeed in getting a farewell gesture from the champions.