Toto Wolff has gone viral on TikTok after a clip emerged of him spying on Red Bull at the Australian Grand Prix. The Mercedes boss was spotted walking past Sergio Perez’s car during a red flag stoppage in Melbourne.
Instead of walking back to the Silver Arrows garage, the Austrian decided to hang around a bit longer. The 51-year-old is then seen to pirouette after peering at the rear right tyre and comes in for a closer look.
To add to the bizarre video, the clip has been dubbed with the Pink Panther theme tune music. Over 214,000 people have liked the clip since last weekend with 13,000 sharing it.
Wolff was also spotted talking to Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur during the stoppage. TikTok user @brunomiguelsaraiva said: “RBR living rent-free in Toto’s head.”
@just_bant3er posted: “Red Bull did the same, there all at it. That Bull is a rocket ATM, not long before the FIA change the rules like they did to Mercedes.” @bethanysloane111added: “I like Toto and George but I’d rather they sent engineer over to know what they are looking at.”
However, some social media followers claimed Wolff was looking at the Red Bull for one key reason. @alexmichael1302 posted: “Or you look to the fastest car to understand how – they did the same to Merc.”
@NRT._.lewis remarked: “The Merc drivers and Toto are looking at the beam wing probably and wondering how they’ve done it.” Wolff sent his engineers back to the drawing board after the German marque struggled at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
But, any new changes are unlikely to be fitted until the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at the end of May. Mercedes has refused to rule out copying Red Bull’s design after the success of Aston Martin.
The British manufacturer followed Red Bull’s sidepod concept last season and made a massive step forward for 2023. Wolff explained: “I think at this stage, we have no dogmatism of how the car should look like,” explained Wolff. “It just needs to be the quickest possible race car.
“And if that car looks like a Red Bull, or like SpaceX, I don’t care, it just needs to be quick. And if it’s a Red Bull, we will put a little bull somewhere with a sticker, and I will have no shame if it’s quick.”
Hamilton has struggled to compete at the sharp end in 2023 as Mercedes continue to lack pace compared to Red Bull. The seven-time champion had a chance to lead the race in Australia but had no answer for his former title rival. The British star already lies a stunning 31 points behind Verstappen after just three races.