For the first time since turbo hybrid rules were introduced in 2014, Mercedes failed to win the drivers’ or constructors’ championship this year.
But with the F1 history books often showing that dominant teams can spend years in the doldrums once they are finally beaten, Mercedes know there is a risk this year’s dip in form will not. be not unique.
However, Wolff says his in-depth analysis of why other top teams have disappeared shows that Mercedes could escape the fate of others.
He suggests that other teams have often suffered through departures of senior executives or drivers, or a change of engine partner.
With Mercedes still retaining the top staff that guided it to recent success, Wolff believes there is no major cause for concern at the moment.
Speaking about arresting the kind of decline that other top teams have faced, Wolff said: “Of course we are talking about it. We analyze what were the reasons in the past why the teams that dominated an era suddenly lost their performance. And you can trace it pretty well.
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“Change in regulations; people leaving; a tire that has fundamentally changed. We have the same organization, the same capacity, the same funding. And I believe we have things in common and we can trace that.
“We are aware of all this and the regulations have changed. We were wrong. But all the other pillars are still in place. And we have to adjust the systems and understand.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, George Russell, Mercedes W13
Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
Wolff thinks other teams have taken so long to recover because they needed to make fundamental changes to their organizations – something he thinks Mercedes don’t have to do.
But he is also aware that things can move quickly if Mercedes find themselves on the back foot.
“You can see that with Ferrari, for example, I mean they lost all the leadership and the key driver,” he said. “I think it’s something you can trace.
“With Red Bull it was a fundamental situation that the powertrain regulations had changed upside down and there was no wholesale works agreement. So those were fundamental parameters modified.
“But we look at this and think: we better be careful. We better be careful because the season has passed in the blink of an eye. And we can’t let that happen, to look back after the next season and the one after that.