Toto Wolff carries 'lucky injury' into 2017

Toto Wolff the Mercedes GP Executive Director looks on from the pitwall during day four of Formula One Winter Testing at the Circuito de Jerez on January 31, 2014
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Toto Wolff says that he is carrying a 'lucky injury' into the 2017 season.

Toto Wolff has revealed that he is carrying a 'lucky injury' into the 2017 season.

The Mercedes chief revealed to the Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper that he recently damaged a disc in his back during a tennis coaching session with his 12-year-old daughter.

"The coach put tennis balls on the court for a sprint exercise. When the coach said a good time was 22 seconds, I thought 'Great, it's about the stopwatch'," he explained.

"I started out and thought 'I'm faster'. By the fifth ball I turned around and felt fire. It was a disc."

However, there is a silver lining. In 2014, Wolff broke several bones in a cycling crash. In 2015, the 45-year-old damaged his knee at the gym. Both times, Lewis Hamilton went on to win the world championship.

"It's a good sign for Lewis, because every time I hurt myself, it works out for him," Wolff said.

However, in winter testing it was clear that Ferrari has taken a big step forward for 2017, while Wolff is also refusing to rule out Red Bull as a challenger.

"The tests showed that it is tighter between Red Bull, Ferrari and us," he said. "Then there is a gap.

"Our car did not behave as we expected, especially in the second week, but we will only know what is actually going on after qualifying on Saturday."

The new seasons begins this weekend with the Australian Grand Prix.

Niki Lauda watches the action during final practice ahead of the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 7, 2014
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1Mercedes161
2Ferrari153
3Red Bull72
4Force India53
5Toro Rosso21
6Williams-Mercedes18
7Renault14
8Haas9
9Sauber4
10McLaren0
DriversTeamPoints
1Sebastian VettelFerrari104
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes98
3Valtteri BottasMercedes63
4Kimi RaikkonenFerrari49
5Daniel RicciardoRed Bull37
6Max VerstappenRed Bull35
7Sergio PerezForce India34
8Esteban OconForce India19
9Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes18
10Carlos SainzToro Rosso17
11Nico HulkenbergRenault14
12Romain GrosjeanHaas5
13Kevin MagnussenHaas4
14Pascal WehrleinSauber4
15Daniil KvyatToro Rosso4
16Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes0
17Marcus EricssonSauber0
18Jolyon PalmerRenault0
19Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren0
20Fernando AlonsoMcLaren0
21Antonio GiovinazziSauber0