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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says he's going to learn from Man Utd's failures

Ryan Sidle

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says he's going to learn from Man Utd's failures

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has rubbed salt into the wounds of Manchester United, by saying he's learnt off their post Sir Alex Ferguson failures.

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There was a time when people from all sports would have looked at United and wondered how they could recreate the success at Old Trafford in their own teams.

Now, with the club sitting bottom of the Premier League with zero points, and just one own goal, from their opening two games, it's a whole different world.

The club are not in a good position, not just in the league, and look to be a mess as they scramble for transfers at the end of the window.

Ten Hag won't be delighted to hear people are doing the opposite of what his club do. Image: Alamy
Ten Hag won't be delighted to hear people are doing the opposite of what his club do. Image: Alamy

And now teams are just looking at United, pointing and thinking "all of that, yeah, how do we do the opposite?" with Mercedes boss Wolff admitting that a look at the post Fergie era is helping him make sure his team don't do the same.

The F1 side have won eight constructors titles in-a-row and, whilst they're extremely unlikely to win a ninth, Wolff is determined to make sure his team continue their success in the future.

"I studied why great teams were not able to repeat great title [runs]," he told the Financial Times whilst referencing United.

"No sports team in any sport has ever won eight consecutive World Championship titles and there are many reasons for that, and what is at the core is the human.

Wolff has enjoyed unprecedented success with Mercedes. Image: Alamy
Wolff has enjoyed unprecedented success with Mercedes. Image: Alamy

"The human gets complacent. You are not energised in the same way you were before. You are maybe not as ambitious.

"I often get the question: ‘How hard is that?'

"I had so many periods, so many episodes in my life that I would judge as difficult, that this is not on the same scale.

"I don’t think it’s challenging in a way because I’ve had much harder times in all of my life, not particularly in Formula 1, but this is actually within my comfort zone."

The Austrian has seen unprecedented success since taking charge of the team in 2014, with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg winning seven drivers' championships in-a-row between them, six from Hamilton.

In that time they also won the constructors' title every year, with Valtteri Bottas taking over from Rosberg after his retirement in 2016.

No United manager has held the Premier League trophy since Fergie retired in 2013. Image: Alamy
No United manager has held the Premier League trophy since Fergie retired in 2013. Image: Alamy

Last year Hamilton famously came up short of a record breaking eighth drivers' title, in the last lap of the season, but Merc still won the team title.

They will not recreate that this year, as they're 137 points off Red Bull, but even after their dreadful start to the season they're still second and above the much quicker Ferraris.

Hamilton has even managed five podium finishes in the past five races, including two second place finishes, despite a purposing problem that Wolff is worried could have serious last effects.

Hamilton has had a tough season but has done really well in recent races. Image: Alamy
Hamilton has had a tough season but has done really well in recent races. Image: Alamy

The 50-year-old said that this season is very much a learning process for him, and his team, adding, "I would say I’m enjoying getting it wrong at the moment because it’s the basis for long-term future success, I believe.

"...I believe this team has all it needs to be successful but with no sense of entitlement. I want this to be a blip and not a longer-term phase of not being able to compete at the front."

He should be warned though, once upon-a-time people at Old Trafford believed their post Fergie problems were just a blip, nine years later and they don't look close at all to stopping that blip.

Topics: Formula 1, Mercedes, Football, Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, Premier League, Lewis Hamilton

Ryan Sidle
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