Honda F1 website

MARCH 21, 2017

Wolff carries lucky injury into 2017

Toto Wolff is carrying a 'lucky injury' into the 2017 season.

The Mercedes chief revealed to the Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper that he recently damaged a disc in his back during a tennis coaching session with his 12-year-old daughter.

"The coach put tennis balls on the court for a sprint exercise. When the coach said a good time was 22 seconds, I thought 'Great, it's about the stopwatch'.

"I started out and thought 'I'm faster'. By the fifth ball I turned around and felt fire. It was a disc," Wolff said.

But there is a silver lining. In 2014, Wolff broke several bones in a cycling crash. In 2015, the 45-year-old damaged his knee at the gym.

Both times, Lewis Hamilton went on to win the world championship.

"It's a good sign for Lewis, because every time I hurt myself, it works out for him," Wolff smiled.

However, in winter testing it was clear that Ferrari has taken a big step forward for 2017, while Wolff is also refusing to rule out Red Bull as a challenger.

"The tests showed that it is tighter between Red Bull, Ferrari and us," he said. "Then there is a gap.

"Our car did not behave as we expected, especially in the second week, but we will only know what is actually going on after qualifying on Saturday," Wolff added.

(GMM)