“I Had a Mid-Life Crisis”: Toto Wolff Opens Up on Mental Health Issues Before Joining Mercedes F1

Published 06/17/2021, 3:20 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – Mercedes Executive Director Toto Wolff in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Toto Wolff is one of the most prolific names in Formula One today. The Mercedes Team Principal has come a long way from starting as a racing driver to managing one of the most dominant F1 teams in modern history.


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Although the Austrian has achieved unprecedented success, he admits it wasn’t plain sailing throughout his career. Ahead of the upcoming French Grand Prix, the 49-year-old reveals his experiences before joining F1, while outlining his struggles.

Toto Wolff admits to going through a mid-life crisis before joining F1


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Wolff’s journey in F1 started as an investor with Williams in 2009. The Austrian moved on as an investor for Mercedes in 2013, before becoming the Team Principal in 2014.

Since joining the Silver Arrows, Wolff enjoyed enormous success, winning 7 back-to-back double World Championships. Despite this success, the Austrian believes it’s not a universal rule that people with this much success are always happy. In addition, he revealed facing a mid-life crisis before joining F1.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 15: Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff looks on in the Team Principals Press Conference during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

The Austrian said“When I see people that have, let’s say, more visible roles, you tend to think they are happy and have everything in their lives, good relationships, money and success. The truth is, that is not a universal rule.

“Before I joined F1, I had a real mid-life crisis. I didn’t know whether I should stay in finance or whether I should do something else and I found myself at the Monaco Grand Prix, by sheer coincidence.”


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Wolff applauds Mercedes’ efforts during his struggles

Wolff believes he still struggles in some parts of his life. However, the Austrian praised the efforts of his Mercedes team during the various times he struggled.


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The 49-year-old said, “Like many other people, I struggle from mental health issues and I have a great team… this is not a universal ‘I am pathologically ill’.

“It is more that I acknowledge that all the best people I have worked with, they have down time and if they have a great group around them, the group will carry the ball.”

Wolff’s statements echo the strong bonds within his Mercedes team, which is crucial towards achieving success. And while he is at the helm of this success, his statements prove that struggles still come attached with any individual.


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Sanket Nair

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Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.



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