Nico Rosberg Explains Why He Now Regrets Criticizing Toto Wolff at Mercedes F1

Published 06/01/2021, 10:30 AM EDT
SHANGHAI, CHINA – APRIL 10: Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP speaks with Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of China at Shanghai International Circuit on April 10, 2015 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


The management career of Nico Rosberg has got off to a dream start. His venture, the Rosberg X Racing team, has won both the two inaugural races of the newly created Extreme E competition. Having stepped into the shoes of a team leader, he now has a newfound appreciation of his former boss, Toto Wolff.

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The Austrian entrepreneur transformed Mercedes when he took over the reins of the team in 2014. He’s won every single drivers’ and constructors’ title since then. But it hasn’t been as easy as it looks to the eye.

During this time frame, he has had to micro-manage his drivers, especially when Nico Rosberg was sharing the garage with Lewis Hamilton, when there was frequent tension within the team. And Rosberg now regrets criticizing the methods of Toto Wolff.

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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)

“I always have to be careful that I don’t intervene too much. There’s a fine line. But also, it’s a new challenge for me because I’ve never been on this opposite side of the road,” Rosberg said of his own experience.

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He added, “Now I look back and when I used to criticize Toto, now I’m like, ‘Oh, shit, OK, maybe I shouldn’t criticize him.’ It’s actually quite difficult to be in that role. Also, in the way you interact with the drivers. It’s hard to understand what the path is to be most supportive.”

Johan Kristoffersson enjoying his experience of working with Nico Rosberg

The duo of Molly Taylor and Johan Kristoffersson make the star-studded lineup of his team in Extreme E. If Rosberg is worried about his role as a leader, he need not anymore. It is because Kristoffersson has given a glowing assessment of his boss.

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“I have to say that it’s nice. I like to have discussions with Nico, bringing up all the ideas. He likes to be in the moment of competition as well. He’s used to it. I think he also likes the position he is in now and he wants to be involved. It’s always good to have someone to discuss different things with and so on.”

SUZUKA, JAPAN – OCTOBER 09: Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP gets a hug from Mercedes GP non-executive chairman Niki Lauda, and is congratulated by Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff after winning the race and the Mercedes GP team winning the constructors championship during the Formula One Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka Circuit on October 9, 2016 in Suzuka. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

So far, Rosberg has had the better of his former rival Lewis Hamilton’s team, X44. He will hope to keep that trend going.

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Watch Story: Ugliest moments in Hamilton-Rosberg rivalry

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Bharat Aggarwal

753 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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