Formula 1: Drive to Survive (2019) s02e04 Episode Script

Dark Days

I think, realistically, for 2019 and 2020, I'd be surprised if Mercedes' dominance didn't continue.
Those are the guys who are always at the top.
It's very difficult for teams that don't have the budget the bigger teams do.
How can a team like ours really necessarily compete? Mercedes are our biggest competitor.
They're the team that are doing the winning at the moment, so they're the team that we want to beat.
Formula 1 racing is very much like war planning.
We set our targets, develop the power unit, and then deploy it on the field.
We are confident about what we are able to achieve, but we must not let one bit of complacency creep in.
I need many fellow warriors on my journey.
We win and we lose together.
Just take it one by one.
Let's crush them.
My name is Toto Wolff and I am the team principal of the Mercedes Petronas Formula 1 team.
I was an entrepreneur my whole life.
- Hi, mate.
- I'm having these guys all over me like you guys.
In business, you can always find excuses.
You can twist the story in your favor.
- See you.
- See you.
But in motor racing, the absolute truth of the stopwatch will tell you whether you've done a good enough job or not.
I like the honesty about it.
Can you make it back to the pits? Back in the day, this was a team that was not winning races.
Out of the race.
In the summer of 2012, Niki Lauda was asked to join the board and to help steer the team into a more successful trajectory.
At the same time, Daimler approached me, whether I was interested in leading the team.
And this was an offer that I couldn't turn down.
Niki was one of the greatest racing drivers that have existed.
He has become a world champion and then almost died in a race car accident.
Half his body burned.
Overcoming his own pain, coming back, winning a world championship made him very strong.
Winning is one thing, but out of losing, I always learned more.
Because you don't waste time blaming somebody else.
Analyze yourself, change yourself to be successful.
Niki Lauda's role in the success of Mercedes cannot be overstated because Niki had the ability to make things happen.
Even though he'd stopped racing, he was such a racer.
Niki was a key element in convincing me to join the team.
If it wasn't for Niki picking up the phone and calling him Lewis, I don't think, would ever have considered moving.
That's Niki.
That's his power.
We are here for the 2012 Japanese Grand Prix.
All the talk in the paddock right now revolves around Lewis Hamilton and his move to Mercedes.
In 2013, the tide changed and we started to become more competitive.
We were a regular challenger for race wins and podiums.
Just wanna say a big thank you to my fans.
Hey! - You happy, right? - Absolutely.
Having had success, been a world champion, he understands what it's like to have the pressure in that car.
He is one of the power units behind the team's success.
That's five world championships in a row for Mercedes.
An amazing achievement.
Over the years that Niki and I have been in teams together, what started as a joint journey among colleagues has developed into a friendship.
The world of sport is mourning the death of Niki Lauda.
The three-time champion leaves a legacy in his sport like no other.
Niki will forever be in our hearts and enshrined in history.
Good morning, Toto.
Good morning.
As you can imagine, this is, uh, very difficult.
Um, very difficult for the team, for all of us.
Uh, I keep looking at the pictures and, um find myself with tears in the eyes every half an hour because he's not there anymore.
That is somebody that is so dearly missed in this team, and dearly missed in Formula 1.
I feel that we have lost what was the heart and soul of Formula 1.
I miss having conversations with him.
I got to visit Niki.
We spoke a lot.
We were sending videos to each other when he was in hospital.
I was just trying to send him positive messages, just to keep his spirits up.
He would send me back messages on his high and his low days.
We're gonna lose this race, Bono.
I can't keep the car behind.
He was with us in spirit, still is.
Hamilton wins the Monaco Grand Prix.
Lewis, that was a victory worth Niki.
Unbelievable job, congratulations.
That was definitely for Niki.
I really was fighting with the spirit of Niki.
Niki's been such an influential person in our team, helping us get to where we are, so I know he'll be, uh, looking down and I know he'll take his hat off today.
So, I was just trying to stay focused and trying to make him proud.
And, uh, we're gonna try to continue that through the year.
Niki's loss will have hurt Mercedes.
And with this kind of a gut punch, yeah, the question will be asked of how much it will affect the team this season.
Because it's the German Grand Prix, we wanna do particularly well here because of our home crowd.
Oh, yeah.
I'm the one-eyed amongst the blind here, no? You're the most important one, though, so you can be late.
So arrogant.
Be a bit more intelligent today than normal.
- What? - Be more intelligent today.
I'm always intelligent.
You don't get the humor.
You can speak German.
I know that you're married to an English woman, but you can speak German to me.
But you have less oxygen up in the mountains.
Yes, but then, when we come down, we are the best runners.
Welcome to the Friday press conference ahead of the 2019 German Grand Prix.
How do you put this on? You're really stupid if you can't manage to do that.
You've been here a thousand times.
Even the guy from the mountains knows how to put it on.
The only one not is Toto, so that proves a point.
Toto, if I could start with you, please.
You're celebrating 125 years in motorsport.
What would it mean to win this race, given that you also have the title sponsorship? We're having a dedicated livery, we're wearing a different team kit tomorrow and lots of activities are on the track.
But on the other side, it's 25 points that are as many points as on any other given circuit and we just need to add another good race performance in order to make a step towards a championship.
- You okay? - Yeah, you? You never know what's around the corner, but at the moment, everything seems all right.
That'll do for now.
That'll do for the next 20 minutes.
We won the championship four years in a row.
2010 to end of 2013.
Then Mercedes have won it every single year since then.
They're rivals.
They're the team that we want to beat.
For me, there is 1,600 superstars in Mercedes.
But the strengths of the team, it's every single individual.
I cannot drive the car.
I am not able to design an aerodynamic surface.
But I try to understand everything around the guy who can.
And I try to provide a framework for these individuals to perform at their best.
What was your other question? The other question was in terms of the upgrade package.
Even though we're relatively fast, the front end is really, really weak I think the best Formula 1 drivers have some common traits.
Talent, nurture and adversity and overcoming the adversity, and this is the single most important ingredient I have seen.
I remember how hard my parents worked.
They sacrificed everything they have, so when I get in the car, I I don't want to squander what they worked for.
Right, any questions? Drivers okay? All right, thanks, everyone.
We have the challenge of managing two drivers within the team.
Lewis is the best racing driver of his generation with five world championship titles.
Valtteri is an extremely talented, uh, racing driver.
He's performing on a very high level.
To be in the same team with Lewis, to be honest, sometimes it's a pain in the ass, because he's pretty quick.
You know, he's tough to beat.
It was a very conscious decision to take Valtteri on board.
There was many difficult things to accept in terms of in which kind of role I had to be in the team, in more like a supportive role.
But it's difficult.
The only thing I want to do as a driver is win the race.
When Lewis beats me it's like turning a knife in me.
People can think whatever they want.
I'm here to win.
Mercedes celebrating 125 years in motorsport.
The team decided to go back to 1954, their first-ever Formula 1 Grand Prix and deck the team out in '50s gear.
It looks brilliant.
It's a long history and a long tradition, so we are getting dressed up.
We are not celebrating a lot normally.
It's the first time that I can remember that we are making such an effort for one single event in terms of the extra activities.
I get scared when I see you.
I'm a Mafia boss.
We are dressed up today in 1950s outfits, a tribute to 125 years of motorsport and we're walking around like a carnival.
There are lots of Lewis fans here, of course.
He doesn't feel well.
Can you enlighten us? Is it dehydration, or what is it? Yeah, he's really not feeling well.
There is a virus making the rounds in the paddock, which he has caught.
It's not like man flu, it's real.
I said to him that if he doesn't feel well, he can easily skip the briefings and go in the motorhome.
Burning up.
Shit, it's too hot in here.
As a racing driver, you can't ever be ill on the race weekend, you always have to arrive 100%.
But I had a fever of 40 degrees.
I was just feeling weak.
I was Massive sweats.
I was barely sleeping.
Qualifying sets the grid for Sunday, so any driver being ill is an issue for a team, but especially when it's your lead driver and the guy gunning for a world championship.
Obviously, they've got Valtteri and the reserve driver, Esteban Ocon, but going into your 200th Grand Prix, your 125th anniversary, you want your lead driver there, fighting fit and leading your charge.
Lewis, how you getting on? Relatively speaking.
Yeah, it's Qualifying's a fast-paced hundred-meter sprint.
High-intensity, high focused, highly charged.
It's all about being calm, composed and centered, but I'm getting in the car, body's feeling sore, my heart is racing.
Just give me normal gloves.
They won't fit on.
Lewis, hi, this is Toto.
I've opened the channel.
Tell me.
It's just a long run.
Don't don't feel great.
But, uh I'm okay to drive.
Good to go.
Okay, good man.
Lewis Hamilton, he must be looking over his shoulder a little bit.
The young guns, Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, are really getting their act together.
So far, he's had an answer to everything.
Verstappen across the line.
He's quickest at the moment.
But Charles Leclerc is going quicker than Verstappen by 3.
5 tenths of a second.
Lewis, you're all clear behind.
Lewis Hamilton begins his first lap.
That's a horrible first sector for Lewis Hamilton.
He took a lot of curb on the way into turn one and I think that threw him slightly wide.
I got traffic on my lap.
Lewis Hamilton, 13th fastest.
And that is not gonna be good enough.
He's going to have to go way faster than that.
How far was I off there? I'd say, in terms of sectors, to Leclerc, it's 4.
5, sector one, 6.
5, sector two, and 4.
5, sector three.
It's difficult to put into terms just how hard it is.
You're chasing milliseconds.
But as a kid, I always knew that if I just work harder than everyone else, I should be able to achieve something extraordinary.
And that's how I've been wired.
I'll see how much I can catch up.
Hamilton's going faster now.
Am I in trouble? Negative.
Currently P3, six tenths to Leclerc, P1.
Okay, Lewis, you're good to go.
Max Verstappen is the challenger to the Mercedes.
Lewis, keep the pace up.
Hamilton very quick, fastest of the weekend so far.
And Lewis Hamilton is on provisional pole.
So, here come the challengers.
Valtteri Bottas first.
Crosses the line.
Can't beat his teammate.
Hamilton, will he be beaten by Max Verstappen? No! Get in there, Lewis.
That's the one, mate.
Hamilton was half a second faster than Bottas.
Max Verstappen splitting the two Mercedes.
Lewis, this is Toto.
You never stop to amaze us.
Thank you, Toto.
Good job, guys.
I don't know how we did that one, but grateful for all the hard work.
In their 200th Formula 1 Grand Prix start, Mercedes will be starting on pole position.
Congratulations to the top three qualifiers for the 2019 German Grand Prix.
Starting in third place will be Valtteri Bottas, in second, Max Verstappen, and taking the 87th pole of his career and his fourth of 2019, our pole-sitter, Lewis Hamilton.
Question for Max.
So, Max, you're starting second tomorrow and do you think, tomorrow, you can have Each year, it's a new challenge from different people.
Yeah, I believe that normally, in the race, we are always a little bit more competitive.
Of course, I'm starting on different tires All these drivers are incredibly talented.
It's small percentages between us all.
Yeah, we're working hard on it, and I'm pretty pleased about today.
It's easier to chase than it is to lead.
All I can do is just put all my energy into that car.
Formula 1 is a hostile environment that will judge you every single day and that gives it a huge intensity and pressure.
And on the free evenings, you want to leave the hostilities of the paddock behind.
Most of the evenings, it was Niki and myself.
We would always travel together.
I lost a friend when he died.
Niki was particular, you know, when you get in the car.
I guess we are the same.
All that needs to be in the central position.
Twenty-two degrees.
All these little things in the middle, then Niki was happy.
Being able to have a dinner together, which we had every single day on the racetrack, is a safe environment that I miss.
I think about our friendship every single day.
I miss having an ally, having a sparring partner, a spokesperson in the paddock.
Since Niki's not around anymore, it feels different.
I miss him so much.
Yes! Wet race! I've been waiting all year for this.
This is fantastic.
They always say rain is the big equalizer in Formula 1, because your equipment doesn't matter so much anymore.
It's all down to feel.
And where you can find the grip around the track.
When the weather changes, it is what makes motor racing excited because it gives it a certain sense of vulnerability.
It's not always the quickest car and quickest driver wins the race.
A bit of patience in this weather.
Yeah, and good communication.
Just keep us informed.
- You see more than we do on the pit wall.
- Yeah.
- Dutch weather! - Yeah.
I have a feeling that if we can put a bit of pressure on Mercedes, I think that they could be exposed.
That makes the dynamic, you know, quite interesting.
I hope that we get an exciting race.
I'd love to see Verstappen and Hamilton have a good fight.
- Good race.
- That's a good one, yeah.
This is a sport that is so intense.
It is about delivering 21 times every single year against the best competitors.
We are only as good as our last race.
The biggest challenge for a racing driver is punching out results weekend after weekend.
Not making mistakes.
Lewis, in terms of the radar, we think it's gonna be more of the same.
So, light rain for the next 30 to 60 minutes.
My approach is always one race at a time because you don't know what's ahead, so you just focus on what's in front of you in the present.
One minute.
Fifteen seconds.
Hamilton gets away pretty well, but Verstappen is struggling.
It's still slippery as hell, man.
Oh, there's a spin.
It's Sergio Perez.
Sorry, guys.
Huge amount of spray.
This is really testing.
Lewis, Valtteri is the car behind and a gap to Verstappen.
Verstappen in his pursuit now of Bottas.
Just be patient, Max.
Lewis, let us know if you think it's ready for dry tires.
Because you're doing 200 miles an hour, it's really hard to see if the track is dry or wet.
I'm okay for now.
These tires are knackered, though.
You go to turn six, it's raining heavily, you go to turn two, it's dry.
And we have rain in the pit lane.
Oh! That is Carlos Sainz.
It's still raining.
Here's Verstappen losing it.
Fuck's sake! Oh! And Leclerc's gone off! Fuck! Hamilton is the race leader, cruising out in front.
Looks good now.
Valtteri six seconds behind, Verstappen 7.
Box, I lost the frickin' wing.
Yeah, coming in.
How bad is the damage to the car? Uh, we need to have a look.
Lewis coming in.
He needs a front wing.
No, it's Lewis here.
Drive through.
You need to hurry up.
I'm here.
Don't put these tires on, guy.
Front wing off, please.
Set 16 for Lewis, set 16.
- Lift it up.
- Wing change.
Come on, let's go.
Average pit-stop length in Formula 1 is about two seconds.
Time to get out.
So, a minute is a year in Formula 1 terms.
Finally, he pulls away after a minute spent in the pit lane.
Then I got back going and your confidence really takes a beating.
And then it's really hard to build it back up.
There is the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg.
This is one of the craziest races.
Max Verstappen has retaken the lead.
Stroll's second, Kvyat's third.
What position have I dropped back to? Unfortunately, Lewis, you dropped back to position 12.
Hamilton got some catching to do.
Game on in the last 16 laps.
I don't think I've ever been a great loser.
Or great in defeat.
It's just in my DNA.
Hamilton pushing hard.
You were purple sector three last lap.
Okay, so push, push.
Oh! He just keeps it out of the wall there, Hamilton! If a team make a mistake, it is kind of out of your hands, but if you've practiced and practiced and you've put so much focus and effort in and then you drop the ball A rare error.
oh, it's really hard to deal with.
Retire the car.
Negative, Lewis, negative.
There's always opportunities.
We must never give up, even if the situation looks desperate, because even if it's just about collecting a single point, that can make a difference to a championship.
So, Lewis is out of the points.
We're fighting for P2.
Come on.
All of the team's hopes now sit with Valtteri to bring home the result they want on their 200th Grand Prix.
In that moment, you know you have a great chance.
Come on, Valtteri.
It's critical to get through.
It always makes you push even harder.
You know you have a great opportunity to get some big points.
And that's Bottas! Bottas has put it in the wall! Fuck! How is this possible? Everything okay, Valtteri? Yeah, I'm all good.
I'm sorry, guys.
In turn one, there was this one dry line.
I must have gone in just a tiny bit too quickly.
Obviously, we are speaking about millimeters.
I just drifted onto the damp part on the outside.
Immediately, I knew there wouldn't be really a way to catch it.
I knew that was it.
I wasted one of the big opportunities for the title.
There's so many team members that are giving their absolute everything and with one single mistake of one driver, you can lose it all.
Valtteri's just gone off at turn one.
How's it gone this bad? It has not gone well for the Mercedes team today.
We lost the race because we weren't good enough.
Our racing wasn't good enough.
And it's fireworks and flames for Max Verstappen, the winner of the German Grand Prix.
Well done, guys.
Fucking mega! That was terrible today.
It was more than terrible.
What did you say? I couldn't hear you.
A tough day at the office? No, it was a total crap, fucking shit, awful day at the office.
Not a tough day at the office.
When you screw up, you want to identify the person.
It's how the human mind works.
But we have a no-blame culture.
We blame the problem rather than the person, which is easier said than done.
- That was not easy, right? - No.
What went wrong? It all went wrong.
Who would like to take the first question? Toto, just how embarrassing is this for you? Home race for the team, having Netflix here, you know, you've got the outfits Everything was poised for the celebration, but you've ended up with a car in 11th and a car in the kitty litter.
Can't be too good.
You want to have a headline for The Sun from me? I'm not gonna give you a headline.
I'll do that, don't worry.
Yeah, I know.
Um, it was a terrible day for us.
Should I actually respond to you when you give me such an answer? Why not? Um Lewis put the car in the wall and then we made the wrong call with the tires.
The tires were not ready.
But, uh, yeah, I wouldn't want to pin it to one bad decision or one incident.
There was a multitude of things that went wrong.
I'm really sorry.
No, when we make mistakes, we all make them together.
I'm so fucking sorry, man.
Just rolled out that fucking corner.
I think coming in around the bollard was the right reaction.
You would have lost tons of time into the lap with a half-broken wing.
We would have made a better tire decision, that's for sure, but the reset reaction is coming in.
You just lost your front wing.
I wouldn't beat myself up on that one.
I'm still just baffled with how it went from bad to worse today.
And, um Yeah.
All I can say is, just on my behalf, sorry for not, uh, pulling through.
Everybody makes mistakes.
Vital mistakes.
For me, this was not a problem.
We need to remember that Niki would say that as a team, you will always have setbacks.
There's not one single team out there that wins every race.
But the most difficult races, the most painful events, are the ones where you learn the most.
At the end, we will learn from it.
We will recover and come out stronger.
Who's your favorite driver? Whoever's winning for us.
Just make sure the car looks like that at the end of the session, yeah? Everybody's expecting to see the Red Bull cars near the front of the field.
No! He needed to come in and change his underwear, I would think.
We're gonna remove that subject and put you in place.
- Can you win this weekend? - Yeah! You can occasionally kiss if you want.
Everybody expects us to win.
But we need to fight to stay on top.

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