Toto Wolff sheds light on F1 team principals’ dinner at Imola

“I wasn’t planning to talk to everyone..."

F1 team principals' dinner at Imola
F1 team principals' dinner at Imola

Toto Wolff has described the atmosphere at a dinner attended by all 20 F1 team principals at Imola.

The Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix weekend featured the bosses of each team sitting down together, with F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.

The inevitably tense relationships that exist at the table swiftly (and temporarily) vanished, Wolff confirmed.

“It was surprisingly fun,” the Mercedes boss told Sky Sports.

“A bit tense at the beginning…”

Wolff’s old nemesis Christian Horner of Red Bull was three seats away.

Ferrari’s Fred Vasseur - a close friend of Wolff’s - was also nearby, at a time when the Italian team and Mercedes are seeing multiple high-profile employees traded between them.

“I wasn’t planning to talk to everyone,” Wolff said.

“But, at the end, we were talking to each other.

“And the knives were back in the pockets.

“Stefano said a good thing: ‘How lucky are we to play this sport, and to be involved?’

“We had a good time. It was really nice to see.”

'We are creeping forwards'

Mercedes’ George Russell qualified in sixth for the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton eighth.

“When you look at the gap to the front, it is progress,” Wolff said.

“We’ve been saying this for a while but it’s the harsh truth - four tenths off, we need to do better.”

Wolff said about Hamilton on Saturday: “He has not been happy with the car. He’s not feeling the grip.”

Mercedes brought upgrades to Imola, but Ferrari, Red Bull and Aston Martin also brought notable new parts for the beginning of the European leg of the season.

“The updates that we have are updates that are going in a balanced direction,” Wolff said.

“Not in massive points, in downforce.

“It’s something we knew we were going to have.

“It’s all pointing in the right direction even though sixth is not good enough, four tenths off is not good enough.

“We are creeping forwards.”

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