F1 more enjoyable as the underdog - Toto Wolff

Sutton Images

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says life in Formula One is more enjoyable as an underdog.

Mercedes has dominated F1 since the introduction of new engine regulations in 2014 and currently sits 160 points clear of its nearest rival in the constructors' championship after just nine races. Moves to peg back Mercedes are currently being discussed, but they come as no surprise to Wolff who knows what it is like to be in the chasing pack.

"It is clear that you have a more enjoyable - and nicer - life as the underdog," Wolff told the official Formula One website. "But the situation that we have now is something that we in some ways expected. We've seen this with previous title-winning teams. Red Bull is a good example - or Ferrari in the early 2000s - and it is something that you have to be aware of, as it is hard to ignore. As a team you need to take your brand and the way it is perceived seriously, but then the number-one objective is winning. And we can't compromise on this target.

"We were the underdogs when I started here in 2013. In that season we very much felt like the ones with some serious catching-up to do - and I also had that role at Williams back in 2012 and before. So I can definitely tell you it is the happier life. But would I trade that for success? Probably not."

While Wolff is understandably keen to keep Mercedes at the front of the grid, he stands by his commitment to let his drivers race each other.

"Take Ferrari at the beginning of the 2000s: they were very dominant. It was Michael Schumacher only - only one driver - so it was much less competition than we have today. We really let our drivers race each other. That is the maximum that you can expect from a team that wants to win both titles."