Mental Health Advocate Toto Wolff Came to Daniel Ricciardo’s Defense After “Burnout” Syndrome Revelation

Published 12/25/2022, 2:35 AM EST

via Getty

The quote, getting to the top is not so easy but staying there is more difficult, perfectly describes Formula 1. Surviving in the premier class is not for the faint-hearted. However, the ones who do survive for a prolonged period are still susceptible to immense pressure. For example, Daniel Ricciardo and his stint at McLaren after which the Australian felt the symptoms of burnout. A serious condition if you ask the Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

The Austrian executive and CEO of Mercedes has always been an advocate of mental health. When Ricciardo admitted he felt the symptoms of burnout syndrome, Wolff spoke to raise awareness about the mental health condition. Not just awareness but the Austrian defended Ricciardo as a condition like burnout is common in an environment like Formula 1.


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“Burnout’ is a name for a mental health issue, whether it is anxiety, depression, or just utter depletion of your emotional, physical, or mental power. That can happen and, of course, it will affect your professional life, as well as your private life”, Wolff said, in the Beyond The Grid podcast.

The Mercedes boss also communicated his confusion with Ricciardo’s performance at McLaren. He said, “Daniel is a great personality. I still believe he is a great racing driver. Whatever happened at McLaren is pretty hard to understand, but you don’t unlearn how to drive. It remains a mystery.”


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However, Ricciardo’s misery ended and he admitted he is happy at the Red Bull reunion. A reunion that came as a surprise because Ricciardo was being heavily linked to a reserve role at Mercedes. However, it was never a possibility.

Toto Wolff admits Daniel Ricciardo to Mercedes was never a real possibility


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Long before Ricciardo was anywhere on Red Bull’s radar, the Australian was being linked to a move to Mercedes. However, according to Toto Wolff, that was never a serious possibility despite discussions.

via Reuters

“We discussed options with him, but it never got to a point where we said, ‘Okay, let’s seriously consider going down this route,’” he revealed.


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WATCH THIS STORY: Daniel Ricciardo’s Best Moments in F1

In the end, we can agree all parties are happy with their respective decisions, especially Ricciardo. The Australian can take the much-needed break with selective participation and aim to return to the grid in 2024.



Mahim Suhalka

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Mahim Suhalka is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. This Sports Management post-graduate is an ardent supporter of the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team and their lead driver, Lewis Hamilton. The fact that Lewis dominated one of the most expensive sports in the world for all these years, despite his humble beginnings, has been a huge inspiration for Mahim and has made him a tenured fan of the competitive sport itself.

Edited By: Varunkumaar Chelladurai