Mercedes focuses on 'mindfulness' to stay top of F1 pecking order

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says a focus on his team's "mindfulness" has been key to maintaining its dominance of Formula One in recent seasons.

This year Mercedes captured its fifth straight drivers' and constructors' championship. If the team successfully defends the latter next season it will equal the six Ferrari captured from 1999 to 2004.

Despite enjoying huge dominance in the opening years of the V6 turbo era, Mercedes has faced tough opposition from Ferrari over the past two seasons. While Mercedes has continually delivered race-winning machinery in that time, Wolff says a huge amount of work has been done behind the scenes to keep the operation running at its best.

"I don't think complacency was ever a factor within our team, because the group is very motivated and we set objectives together that we are passionate about," Wolff said. "It is more about how can you maintain those levels of energy.

"Sometimes a level of energy can become unhealthy and that is an area that we are putting a lot of effort into in order to be able to continuously perform at these levels. As an organisation we are looking at the working environment.

"We are looking at nutrition, at sleep, at medical support, at sports, and we are looking at giving days off, sending people home, if we feel they are not in a good frame of mind. We are looking at psychologists, at mindfulness at the team. I could speak here for another hour and say what we are doing."

Despite the recent run of success, Wolff says there is plenty of room for improvement in 2019.

"We are trying to really act not like a group of 5-year-olds who play football where everybody runs behind the ball, we are trying to let the ball run. All of us within their area of expertise are trying to do a better job than their opposite number at Ferrari, or McLaren, or Williams or wherever it is.

"This is what I am benchmarking myself against and against my own expectation. Obviously you set your sights on what is happening next year: how can I improve, where do I want to be better? And that transcends into my whole life, whether it is my private life or my business life."