Toto Wolff has cited “imposter syndrome” as the reason for Mercedes’ repeated success in Formula 1.

Mercedes has been a case study for the rest of the grid. Their success is unprecedented, they have raced hard and fair, and they have won everything there is to win in the sport for the last seven years.

The Mercedes Team Principal revealed that there are a number of factors that ensure his team’s success. He then mentioned one major reason that is the standout one among those reasons.

Wolff cited “imposter syndrome” as the reason for Mercedes’ repeated success in Formula 1, and said that it is a trait which maximises their supremacy on and off-track.

“The most important is to stay humble and be able to really have a mindset of being able to criticise yourself,” Wolff said while speaking at the confirmation of Mercedes’ involvement in the bid for INEOS Britannia’s American Cup, as quoted by GP Fans.

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Wolff (pictured) says Mercedes are where they are because of “imposter syndrome”.

“When you listen to one of our debriefs on a Monday morning after a race we have been lucky enough to win, it doesn’t sound like a team that has won.

“We are always sceptical about our own achievement, and we all suffer in a way from an imposter syndrome – that people must have been really good in this team to have made us win because I don’t really know what my contribution was.

“That goes all through the organisation. Everybody feels that, even the most highly skilled engineers.”


Mercedes is gunning for their eighth consecutive title. They currently sit 30 points clear of rivals Red Bull. They also lead the Drivers’ Championship, although by a much closer margin of two points. Wolff said that their mentality keeps them realistic and motivated.

“That (Mercedes’ mentality) keeps us grounded,” Wolff said.  

“Every year we see ourselves, not as the one to beat but in a way there is this challenger mentality. We set expectations in the right way and we feel zero sense of entitlement.”

Read more: Budkowski suggests Wolff was wrong for three cars idea – “More teams would be good”


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