Whilst 2022 was a year with little to celebrate for Mercedes, as they endured their most difficult season yet in the hybrid era, team principal Toto Wolff still managed to do something he’s never done in his time as the German’s team principal.
Since taking on the role in 2013, Wolff has been present at the circuit for all but three races, meaning he’s been on hand to celebrate the team’s magnitude of victories.
Having been at the track for the team’s first 114 wins under his reign, he actually missed George Russell’s victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix, having decided to work from home in Monaco that weekend.
It meant that Russell’s maiden F1 victory was the first that Wolff hasn’t been at the circuit for, having been trackside for the 114 wins prior to it.
It was the first win that Wolff has missed due to the team having endured difficult weekends at the two other races that he’s missed since 2013.
At the Japanese Grand Prix this year, Lewis Hamilton finished fifth, whilst Russell claimed eighth, on what was a wet and miserable day at the legendary Suzuka.
The team also didn’t win the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix, with Hamilton having finished seventh following a time penalty for hitting Alex Albon whilst Valtteri Bottas retired.
Wolff was asked if Russell’s first win was the first that he’s missed, before questioning whether the Silver Arrows won or not at the 2019 Brazilian GP.
“Since 2013, I have missed three races – one in Brazil in 2019, and now Suzuka  and this one,” revealed Wolff.
“I don’t know whether we won in Brazil when I was not there. Did we win in Brazil when I missed the first race?”
Going into more detail about how it felt missing the 24-year-old’s first win and the team’s first of 2022, Wolff said that he was “so proud” of the Brackley-based side, who worked tirelessly all season.
However, the Austrian did admit that he was told by the team that they were “missing” him.
“I spoke to Bradley [Lord – communications director] and to James [Vowles – chief strategist] and they said, ‘It is a shame,’ and ‘We’re missing you here’.” added Wolff.
“But I felt just so proud and happy for the team and it is irrelevant whether I was there or not. Everybody just deserved it so much.”