Mercedes: F1 was still unpredictable and attractive to fans in 2019

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff believes Formula 1 remained unpredictable and attractive to fans in 2019 despite winning another championship.

Certainly, the first half of the season was anything but, as the German manufacturer won the first eight races before Max Verstappen ended that run at the Austrian Grand Prix.

As the year progressed, it was also noticeable how the front of the grid did become more competitive with Red Bull and Ferrari winning three races each and Mercedes had to fight a little harder for their own successes.

“Mercedes winning a sixth championship, you can ask 'Does this make people turn off?' but the point is there was still variability and unpredictability," Wolff said at the launch of their 2020 livery last Monday.

“You wouldn’t know before the weekend if a Ferrari was on pole position or if a Red Bull was on pole position, whether Max Verstappen would win.

“The battle between the generations is also something that is a great attraction: [Sebastian] Vettel against [Charles] Leclerc, Verstappen against [Lewis] Hamilton. This is something that attracts audiences.

“For me, the best news is that we’re growing our audiences and fanbase with the younger generations and I think, overall, we’re on a really good path.”

The figures do seem to back Wolff's view up as F1 reported a rise in total audience figures to over 1.9bn across the season, although the number of unique viewers was slightly down.

Also, heading into 2020, there is a sense of anticipation that finally Ferrari and Red Bull have a realistic chance of ending Mercedes' historic championship streak.

And that prospect also isn't lost on Wolff.

"The atmosphere this year is very calm, very focused. We all know that there's a job to do and results to be delivered in order to meet our own expectations," he said at the shakedown of the new W11 at Silverstone.

"We're working hard to try and prepare in the best way possible, we feel no sense of entitlement to win races or championships.

"We know that we need to fight extremely hard for that as we had to in every year. This has been our mindset from the beginning."

Also Read:

This year also brings a unique factor into the championship fight, however, as teams prepare for major rule changes coming next season.

“There will be teams that will put a lot of focus on 2020 and there will be teams that will start to shift their resources into 2021," Wolff added.

"Getting that balance right will be very important, but that’s not an easy thing to do.

"Our ambition is clear: we want to be competitive in both 2020 and 2021, that is a great challenge, but the greater the challenge, the more we like it."