Toto Wolff Reveals Occasional ‘Trash Bin’ Role While Working With Lewis Hamilton’s Ego

Published 11/01/2021, 6:50 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium with team principle Toto Wolff after winning the race and the world championship Pool via REUTERS/Clive Mason


Toto Wolff is a no-nonsense man; as the team principal of the most successful team in F1 history, one would expect nothing less. In a recent interview, the captain of the Mercedes ship reveals how he handles Lewis Hamilton and the personality he is.

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In an interview with the Daily Mail, Toto Wolff was asked how he manages the ego of drivers in his team. Wolff had a stern reply. “This is Mercedes. We have no place for the genius jerk. Even a superstar driver has to respect team values.”

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Lewis Hamilton is a seven-time champion; one would assume that with the success comes a strong amour propre. However, the boss reveals it is different with Hamilton. “We’ve been eight years together now. He’s not an arrogant, spoiled little kid. He’s a mature racer who has won seven titles, six with us, so we can take those moments. It’s part of our role to be a trash bin for the driver sometimes.” 

Hamilton has had his moments in the car, most recently with the incident in Turkey. Although Lewis has never been egotistical, there is a sense of self that comes with being an F1 driver. However, Wolff is an understanding of these bouts of emotion. “In the car, you can get very frustrated and emotional.” 

Toto Wolff divulges in earlier relationship with Hamilton

Although empathetic now, the Mercedes honcho revealed he wasn’t always like this with his star player. “In the early years, I would bite back at Lewis. He was very young, and I had to make the point that I wouldn’t allow the driver to bad-mouth the team.”

However, the power duo has grown since then. According to Wolff, the time and experience along the way have played a role in building trust and respect.

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Despite having moved on from those times, Wolff is still stern with any driver’s behavior within his team- old or new. “I wouldn’t hesitate in the future if a driver talked bad about the team or wasn’t appropriate, I would first deal with it internally and if that didn’t yield results I would take the driver out of the car. On the bench, yes.”

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Admittedly, Hamilton is a relatively pleasant driver to work with, always positive on and off the track. Now, with the eighth title within reach, the pressure is high, but never high enough to break the ties between kingpins of Mercedes.

Watch this story: From Drunk Gala to Dry Responses: Kimi Raikkonen’s Funniest Moments

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Shreya Sanjeev

607 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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