Building a Leadership Culture To Win – Mercedes AMG F1, Toto Wolff.

Part 4: Avoiding Complacency

In any great sports team after an extending period of winning complacency can hit with phases such as “I don’t know we just keep on winning” turning into “I don’t know we just keep on losing!”.


So how do the Mercedes Formula 1 team try and avoid this?

“Difficult days are the ones we progress the most.” Toto told Autosport magazine when reflecting on the 2018 Belgium Grand Prix, when it looked like Ferrari had finally out developed Mercedes, only for the team to dig deep and come back even stronger “Success is a lousy teacher and its important to reflect on why failures happen”.

In Toto’s mind he has a simple formula “Failure + Reflection = Progress”.

He also reflects that in order to keep energy levels high, its vital to set the right objectives at the beginning of each season and understand how best to motive your staff.

According to Richard Bruce the Aero Dynamics Model Shop Supervisor at Mercedes AMG F1, (in the same Autosport interview) from an employee point of view this ethos and the values Toto sets are shared across the business, as everyone is encouraged to have a voice.


This is powerful as there is an open-door policy, so a member of the team can give ideas no matter what level they are at. This also makes the team feel listened to and as such feel part of something much greater.

Toto finishes by saying “If at the end we all have one joint objective of winning races without the sense of entitlement and being in the position of fighting for championships, we have made a good step already!”

The Secrets to Sustainable Success in Formula One Blog 

Photo (Claudia Weaver Photography): Ignition Co-Founder Nick next to Partners from GROW: In London, Ryman Business and Mark Blundell Partners next to Lewis Hamilton's 2015 World Championship winning Mercedes AMG F1 car.

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Coming Soon Part 1: Building a High Performance Team, Red Bull Racing