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SATURDAY, 3 JULY, 2021

AN ALMOST INDEPENDENT F1 NEWSPAPER

THE SECRET HISTORY

OF TOTO WOLFF

The Mercedes boss‘ days of records, rallying,

and racing with Red Bull


02 Gallery F1 Red Bull Ring redbulletin.com/f1special

3 July, 2021 The Red Bulletin

Sensational days in red-white-red:

finally, there are fans in Spielberg

again, Max Verstappen (pictured) is

hot favourite, and teammate Checo

Perez is driving his 200th GP.

CLOCKWORK

ORANGE

After last week’s successful Styrian GP,

this weekend’s Austrian GP is all about

setting a record: if Max Verstappen can

repeat his victory from last Sunday,

he will be the first F1 driver in history

to win four times at this track.

In yesterday’s two free practice

sessions the Dutchman posted excellent

lap times, showing he has no intention

of letting his rivals have the slightest

say in his role as boss in Spielberg this

weekend.

“Don’t let the lion stand around in his undershirt.” Can’t understand a word

we’re saying? Maybe reading our columnist on page 6 will help.


The Red Bulletin 3 July, 2021 redbulletin.com/f1special

F1 Red Bull Ring Gallery 03

We’ve been waiting for these pictures for over a year: well-filled stands, and

it’s only Friday. 100,000 spectators are expected for the weekend.

“Is rain coming?” “Not today.

But probably on Sunday.”

Christian Horner and Ferrari

boss Mattia Binotto are

certainly talking shop about

the weather here.

No more records: from the race after next, it will barely be possible to stop

in less than two seconds due to a change in the pit stop regulations.

PICTUREDESK.COM, PHILIP PLATZER/RED BULL CONTENT POOL, GEPA IMAGES, GETTY IMAGES WERNER JESSNER

Warning, track limits: yesterday,

the drivers repeatedly lost lap times

because they drove over the yellow

“sausage kerbs”. This could also be

an issue in today’s qualifying.


04 Gallery F1 Red Bull Ring redbulletin.com/f1special

3 July, 2021 The Red Bulletin

From the hunted to the hunter: after

years of dominance, Mercedes is no longer

the favourite. It’s good for the sport.

The Red Bull Skydive Team already jumped in yesterday for their

big performance at the GP on Sunday.

Impressive rookie Yuki: still racing in F2 until this year, Tsunoda in

the AlphaTauri was in the top 5 for long stretches yesterday.

Australian with an affinity

for football: Daniel Ricciardo,

here on the podium in 2017.

GETTY IMAGES, GEPA IMAGES, GETTY IMAGES/RED BULL CONTENT POOL, PICTURESESK.COM WERNER JESSNER


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06 Bullhorn F1 Red Bull Ring redbulletin.com/f1special

3 July, 2021 The Red Bulletin

PIT BITCH:

HELEN PARADYCE

Fish eggs, baseball bats, clown cars

and underdressed lions. Our confused

columnist reckons 2021 is shaping up

nicely, if a little strangely…

C

an a year have passed since we were last here, bursting with

hope and expectation that a full season of Formula 1 lay

ahead of us? The hastily commissioned team-branded

masks were barely fit for purpose, but we didn’t care, we

were about to go racing and could see the light at the end of the

tunnel, except the light turned out to be the oncoming train

transporting the second and third waves of the pandemic.

However, as always in F1, the sport took a look at the regs, found

a way to navigate around the problems and beat every other sport to

the competitive punch. Staging a whopping 26 F1 races in 52 weeks

is a unique, unbelievable performance, except that ‘unique’

and ‘unbelievable’ are generally words I use when having

to think of something non-committal to say to actor

friends after the opening night of a terrible show.

I just don’t think F1 needs to be rammed down our

necks at a rate surpassed only by the number of

times everyone has to be deep-throated with a

cotton bud, to prove viral purity. If you are

constantly fed a diet of caviar, eventually you see it

for what it is – slimy, salty fish eggs.

Here in Austria there is nothing fishy about food

preferences, best summed up as ‘veal is life’. And if it’s

not schnitzel, they love a bit of a dairy, to the extent they

actually have a cheesy libation called Lattella, something I

assume would only appeal to fans of Daniel Ricciardo’s shoey.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to be here, because the delights of

an Austrian double-header bring back memories of the fun I had as a

chalet girl in Kitzbühel. Of course, after the holiday romance wore

off, double headers gave way to back-to-backs and then, when

regular partners decided it was all a bit unsanitary, the inevitable

one-time assignations with desperate old flames looking to rekindle

a dead romance. Yes, we’re looking at you Istanbul Park.

Going back to caviar, it has to be said that the current season is

the finest Royal Beluga, as we’ve finally got the Max-Lewis fight

we’ve been craving. Lewis is still Lewis and Max has matured into a

calmly confident driver, who no longer tries to win every race at the

first corner of lap one. It also helps that he no longer looks quite so

much like Alfred E Neuman off the cover of ‘Mad’ magazine.

Mercedes’ troubles haven’t been helped by Valtteri Bottas’ woes,

the normally ultra-reliable Finn sometimes looking about as

IMPRINT

‘If you are

constantly fed

caviar, eventually

you see it for what

it is – slimy, salty

fish eggs.’

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competitive as a one-legged man at an arse-kicking

contest. I refuse to feel sorry for F1 drivers, given

the life they lead, but a bit of sympathy for VB might

be in order. I remember Eddie Irvine comparing being

Michael Schumacher’s team-mate to waking up every

morning and being hit on the head with a baseball bat.

This year’s great racing hasn’t got in the way of gallons of ink

being wasted in the media on what really matters – wobbly wings,

exploding tyres and comedy trackside hazards. Fans just want to see

the drivers racing hard, not Coco driving his Clown Car, with the

mirrors and doors popping off and the steering wheel coming away

in his hand, as he honks his horn after hitting a Sausage Dog kerb.

Looking back at the Styrian GP, I can’t believe Verstappen didn’t

win Driver of the Day. The last time I paid attention, all of the

Netherlands was duty bound to vote for Max after every race, even

if he retired on the formation lap. Then I realised they were all too

busy packing their caravans with all the orangery they can find –

scarves, shirts and of course the lion costume – ready for this

weekend’s full house. They’ll be here in their colourful thousands

singing their strange songs with lyrics such as “Laat de leeuw niet

in zijn hempie staan”, which as you all know translates as: “Don’t

let the lion stand around in his undershirt.” No, me neither.

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HELEN PARADYCE TIM MARRS (COVER), YANN LEGENDRE


READ NOW AT

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08 Cover F1 Red Bull Ring redbulletin.com/f1special

3 July, 2021 The Red Bulletin

Toto Wolff as we know

him: in command, on

the Mercedes pit wall.

THE SECRET LIFE OF

TOTO W.

The world knows him as Mercedes’ commanding team

principle. But TORGER CHRISTIAN WOLFF used to be a

very different type indeed. A glimpse into the secret

Red Bulletin archive reveals a multifaceted racer

who didn’t shy away from drama.

Words WERNER JESSNER

PICTUREDESK.COM


The Red Bulletin 3 July, 2021 redbulletin.com/f1special

F1 Red Bull Ring Cover 09

Helmet on for a drive

from hell. “They always

say only locals can drive

fast here. I drove up

from Vienna, practised

a bit and now we’ll see

what happens.”

BILDSYMPHONIE/ANDREAS TRÖSTER

TOTO,

THE RECORD-

HOLDER

The Nordschleife of the

Nürburgring is rightly considered

the toughest racetrack in the

world. In April 2009, Toto tried to

break the lap record of 7 minutes

and 7 seconds in a Porsche 911

RSR. He did it on his first attempt:

7:03.28. Then there was the

unofficial – timed by a hand-held

stopwatch – Niki Lauda record

from the 1970s of 6m58s. Toto

wanted to break that too. The fact

that fingernail-sized chunks of

tyre were coming loose on the first

lap should have given Toto pause

for thought. Hardly, and so the

inevitable occurred... He came off

at the notorious Fuchsröhre

(Foxhole) at 268kph. It took

months for him to be able to taste

and smell again after the fearsome

crash; the deceleration on impact

shook his nerves badly.

Toto’s friend Niki Lauda

called the attempt “the

most stupid suicide

mission I’ve ever heard

of in my whole life”.

Porsche said: “It was

the worst-damaged

roll-cage a driver had

ever managed to bring

in by himself.”

The record is gone:

7:03 minutes for

20.8km. Toto said

afterwards: “The car

seems a little bit

dangerous to me.

Anything can happen on

the Nordschleife.

You’ll quickly end up

in the local hospital

in Adenau if you

don’t watch out.”

The Porsche 911/997

was the tool of choice

for the attempt to break

the Nürburgring lap

record in 2009. The

460hp racing car had

dominated the 24-hour

race on the same circuit

in previous years.


10 Cover F1 Red Bull Ring redbulletin.com/f1special

3 July, 2021 The Red Bulletin

Full-on attack: Toto

quickly won his way to

spectators’ hearts with

his uncompromising

driving style. And he

thought internationally

right from the off; in

2002 he even finished a

respectable sixth in the

N-GT category at the FIA

GT Championship.

TOTO,

THE RALLY

DRIVER

Even though he cut his motorsport

teeth on the race track, he was just

as taken with rally driving. And as

Toto probably thought at the time,

it would at least provide a lot more

fun in a day than you’d get in a

long-distance race, which largely

consisted of waiting around. He

was a latecomer to the rally stages

but he learned quickly. And as we

know of Toto, he didn’t do things

by half measures. From July 2006

to late 2013 he was involved with

Austrian Raimund Baumschlager’s

elite rallying outfit, BRR, and

drove their cars, mostly

Mitsubishis. The highlight from

that period was second place in

the Austrian championship behind

team-leader, Baumschlager

himself.

Wolff’s co-driver

Gerald Pöschl guided

the future team

boss through thick

and thin during their

rally years.

Among the established

rally-drivers, Toto was

seen as someone who

sought his limits at

the upper extreme

and learned from his

mistakes. He is

convinced, “I could

have made a living from

rally driving.”

HARALD ILLMER, GEPA IMAGES, WERNER SCHNEIDER


The Red Bulletin 3 July, 2021 redbulletin.com/f1special

F1 Red Bull Ring Cover 11

TOTO,

THE BULL

In the early 2000s, Toto took

part in the FIA-GT World

Championships and in other

major long-distance races in São

Paolo, Spa-Francorchamps and

Silverstone. He racked up class

wins over a number of years for

Porsche, BMW and Ferrari

alongside team-mates such as

Karl Wendlinger, Dieter Quester

and Philipp Peter. In 2006, he

wrote history with the latter

pair and German legend Hans-

Joachim Stuck when he won

the first Dubai 24-Hour Race

wearing blue Red Bull overalls.

Legendary… Class

victory for Wendlinger/

Wolff/Quester/Zonca

at the 1000 Miles

of Interlagos in 2004.

And who recorded the

quickest lap in the

toughest of conditions?

Yup, Toto Wolff.

You wouldn’t have

thought back in 2004

that this young man with

the nice hair and the

plastic watch would

years later go on to

become the successful

Mercedes team principal

and the toughest rival for

his partner of many

years, Red Bull.

ARCHIV DIETER QUESTER

Toto Wolff, Philipp Peter

and Dieter Quester

celebrate winning the

2005 Misano 6 Hours in

their BMW E46. Virtually

like father and son,

Toto only contested

one long-distance race

without veteran star

Dieter by his side.


12 Great races F1 Red Bull Ring redbulletin.com/f1special

3 July, 2021 The Red Bulletin

LEARN

AND

COME BACK

STRONGER

After a tough start to his F1 career PIERRE GASLY has

bounced back in style. And for the Frenchman, the strength

of his recovery is founded on the lessons he learned in his

earliest years in single seaters. Here, Pierre picks the races

that made him one of F1’s hottest properties…

Words MATT YOUSON

Pierre Gasly has experienced more

than the average 25 year-old – even

more than the average 25 year-old F1

driver. At the moment, he’s riding the

crest of a wave, delivering the sort of

electrifying qualifying laps and strong races

that mark him out as a top talent.

Of course, Pierre has been here before.

Few drivers will experience the rapid rise,

shattering fall, and extraordinary return

that the young man from Rouen has been

through. But through it all Gasly has shown

remarkable resilience, a mental fortitude he

says comes from experience.

“You always improve and year-after-year

you become stronger. But also you become

who you are race after race, building, getting

more experience,” he says. “And also, you

progress from the mistakes and failures,

because that’s how you improve.”

When asked to list the races that have

made him the driver he is today, Pierre,

perhaps surprisingly, largely opts for

formative experiences during his time in

the Red Bull Junior Team. He confesses it’s

difficult to list only a few when there are so

many – but these are the races that stand

out for him.


The Red Bulletin 3 July, 2021 redbulletin.com/f1special F1 Red Bull Ring Great races 13

SANDRO BAEBLER

A member of F1’s elite

band of race winners,

Pierre Gasly has matured

to become one of the

sport’s top talents.


14 Great races F1 Red Bull Ring redbulletin.com/f1special

3 July, 2021 The Red Bulletin

2013 FORMULA

RENAULT 2.0, CIRCUIT DE

CATALUNYA, SPAIN, SEASON

FINALE. TECH 1 RACING, P6

“My final race in Formula Renault

2.0 sticks in my mind because I won

the Championship that day – but it

was a very tight battle with Oliver

Rowland that went down to that

final race. I remember qualifying

was going really badly! I had a lot

of traffic and yellow flags and just

couldn’t do a lap. It was a highpressure

situation, I was down in

P20 with just one more chance –

which had never been something

that happened before during that

year. I had a clean lap and took

pole position.

“I went into that last race of

the season leading by eight points.

Rowland tried to pass me on the

first lap and crashed into me, trying

to win the title. He broke his front

wing, and damaged my car. He

picked up a drive through penalty,

but I was able to recover and finish

sixth. It was quite an intense

experience but dealing with that

sort of thing was valuable later.”

Unrewarded in Italy

2015 GP2 FEATURE RACE, MONZA, ITALY, DAMS, DNF

“There were a couple of memorable races in GP2 but the one that really

stands out is from my first year, in Monza. I took my first pole position

Looking back, I remember at the time feeling that I was really fast in

qualifying and that in the race we were struggling a bit more – but even so we

were leading quite comfortably. And then we broke the driveshaft during the

pit stop. I remember it being difficult to digest. It was an important one. It

would have been my first win in GP2. For me, I learned to accept that you can

sometimes have a great weekend on a personal level but with no reward.”

An emotional victory

at Silverstone

2016 GP2 FEATURE

RACE, SILVERSTONE,

ENGLAND. PREMA, VICTORY

“In 2016 I won the GP2 title, and

the weekend that really stands out

for me was Silverstone. It was my

first win of the season, but it sticks

in the mind because it was a

particular sort of weekend. On

Friday, I was involved in a road car

crash. It was a bad one. [Travelling

to the circuit, with Pierre in the

back of the car with his mother, the

car was involved in a collision with

another vehicle, and reportedly

rolled four times before coming to a

halt 50m from the road].

“My Mum went to intensive care

with broken vertebrae, broken ribs

and a head injury. She was kept in

intensive care and it was quite

worrying. I went to the track and

was fastest in practice, then in the

afternoon I qualified P2 and won

the race on Saturday. It was odd

because my parents were not there

at the time to celebrate with me. I

was strangely motivated but it was

one that, mentally, was not easy: to

go through the weekend but still

manage to perform.”

GETTY IMAGES, MOTORSPORT IMAGES


The Red Bulletin 3 July, 2021 redbulletin.com/f1special F1 Red Bull Ring Great races 15

2020 FORMULA 1

ITALIAN GRAND PRIX,

ALPHATAURI, VICTORY

GETTY IMAGES/RED BULL CONTENT POOL, MOTORSPORT IMAGES

2017 SUPER FORMULA

AUTOPOLIS ROUND, JAPAN,

TEAM MUGEN, VICTORY

More often than not a GP2/F2

champion can find an F1 seat for the

following season, but with no seat

available at Red Bull’s F1 teams,

Pierre was sent to Japan for a year

of racing in the high-powered Super

Formula championship. He came

within half a point of winning the

title, and had the final two rounds

not been cancelled due to Typhoon

Lan, may have gone one better – but

the experience was critical. Pierre

lists his race win at Autopolis as the

stand-out race – because he and his

team decided to gamble on the

unknown Soft compound tyre. It

was part of a larger learning cycle

that saw him take a much deeper

dive into technical matters – if only

to be better understood.

“Japan was a lot of new things

for me. When I went to Japan, I had

no idea what was going to happen. I

built a relationship with Honda and

Japan: wiser and more experienced

was also able to spend more time

than usual with my team and

understand how they operate.

I didn’t speak Japanese, only one

guy in the team spoke English,

so there was a lot of potential for

miscommunication. I became more

involved on the technical side

so they could understand what I

needed. Great experience. I learned

a lot and was much more involved

than I’d been in other series where

the driver gives feedback but

concentrates mostly on driving.”

Unexpected joy in Monza

Pierre’s performances in Japan,

learning new circuits and new

technology, embedding himself

in a different culture and

producing results from day one

earned him a call-up to Toro

Rosso for the final few F1 rounds

of 2017 before a full-time drive

for 2018. In 2019 a step up to

Red Bull Racing resulted in the

toughest time of Pierre’s career

as he struggled with the RB15

and was eventually sent back to

Toro Rosso to build again. In Spa

that year he also lost close friend

Anthoine Hubert to a fatal crash

in Formula 2. It was a dark period

for Gasly, but through the next

year he channelled the negative

energy into positive races,

scoring his first podium in Brazil

and then last year an incredible

first win at the Italian Grand Prix.

“It takes so many things to win

a race in F1. When I crossed the

finish line I just thought of my

team, my family — I was so

thankful for all of their hard

work, their sacrifices,” he told

The Players Tribune. “I knew that

I was the one who had physically

crossed the line, but they had all

been there right beside me. That

cool down lap ... I wish I could

experience that a million times.

The best feeling. The best.”

Reflecting on those years,

Pierre says they have made him

the driver and person he is now.

“You always have challenges

in life, whatever you do,” he says.

“It’s not only myself. Everyone

can relate to that. It’s important

to face those challenges and I

think that’s also what shapes you

as a person – as a driver, as a

human. This period of my life

shaped who I am today and even

if it was tough I never gave up and

I always had a clear idea of what I

want to achieve in the sport.”

And have all of these formative

experiences contributed to the

success he’s now enjoying? Pierre

grins: “Of course! The good days

but also the mistakes and failures

– because that’s how you improve

yourself, how you learn and come

back stronger.”


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