Lewis Hamilton and team principal Toto Wolff slipped up after forgetting the Mercedes F1 team’s official name during the filming of the second series of Netflix’s Drive to Survive last year. The F1 champion and his boss were put in front of the cameras to introduce themselves, just like drivers and team members from their pit-lane rivals.
However, both Hamilton and Wolff were both forced to ask for clarification on what to say when it came to calling Mercedes by their official name.
Hamilton, who’s won five of his six World Drivers’ Championship titles with Mercedes, said: “I’m Lewis Hamiton and I race for Mercedes Benz. Oh s***, is that [right]? What is it?”
Wolff, meanwhile, was forced to revert to his native tongue as he said: “My name is Toto Wolff. I’m the team principal of the Mercedes… [in German] How do I say it?”
Hamilton and Wolff’s blushes were saved moments later by team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who recited Mercedes’ team name perfectly.
The Finn, who finished second in the 2019 drivers’ standings, said: “So my name’s Valtteri Bottas. I drive for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport [team].”
In fairness to Hamilton and Wolff, though, Mercedes have undergone a series of name changes since taking over the Brawn GP team after the 2009 season.
Mercedes were called Mercedes GP Petronas Formula 1 Team between 2010 and 2012, before changing to Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team for a season.
Between 2014 and 2016, they were called Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team, before switching to Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport between 2017 and 2019.
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Mercedes will now officially be listed as Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team for the upcoming 2020 season, which begins in a little under two weeks with the Australian Grand Prix.
Amid their name changes, Mercedes have established themselves as the dominant force in F1 over the past six years, winning consecutive drivers’ and constructors’ title doubles.
And they’ve shown their determination to stay ahead of the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull by continually innovating, with the Dual Axis Steering (DAS) system their latest invention.
Bottas has suggested he’ll use it from the off when the 2020 campaign kicks off in Melbourne on March 15.
“Everything works well with it,” Bottas said. “We’re still learning more and more about it, we’re happy to have it in the car and no issues really found so far, so it’s all working well.”
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