“You Can Lick My A**” – Toto Wolff Recalls Colorful Conversation With Niki Lauda During the F1 Summer Break

Published 08/13/2021, 6:30 AM EDT
MONZA, ITALY: Mercedes GP non-executive chairman Niki Lauda talks with Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff in the Pitlane during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


Since he joined Mercedes in 2013, Toto Wolff established himself as one of the best Team Principals on the grid. Leading the team to seven consecutive world championships, many credit the Austrian for the Silver Arrows’ success in the hybrid era.

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However, a name that Wolff often brings up when given the chance is compatriot Niki Lauda. Although the three-time world champion passed away in 2019, Wolff speaks highly of his influence in the team’s success.

With the ongoing F1 season now in its summer break, no communications regarding technical aspects of the sport can take place. Hence, Wolff reminisced a story involving the two Austrians in Italy years ago which helped him cope with the shutdown.

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Toto Wolff recalls sharing a combative moment with Niki Lauda in Italy

Lauda made a reputation out of being one of the most intelligent drivers to step foot in F1. Besides his incredible skill on the track, the three-time world champion knew how to set up a car to unleash its true potential.

Since joining the Mercedes F1 team in 2012, Lauda helped the team reach new heights along with Wolff. In fact, Lewis Hamilton credits Lauda as a major factor in signing for Mercedes in 2013.

Wolff and Lauda shared a warm and healthy relationship as colleagues. However, the latter’s death a week before the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix left Wolff, and the team shattered. Even today, the 49-year-old recalls many memories with the Austrian, and he did so during the ongoing summer break.

During a summer break in Italy, Wolff asked where Lauda was two days into the vacation. After Lauda responded by saying he’s at his doorstep, he called him for breakfast, which received a colorful response from Wolff.

He recalled Lauda’s words as, “I’m standing with the boat in front of your hotel. Are you coming down for breakfast at eight?” To which Wolff replied, “So I said: ‘You can lick my a**. That you are stalking me now in Italy and forcing me to get up and have an espresso with you, we won’t do that.” (Quotes translated from Google)

Can Wolff lead Mercedes to an eighth consecutive title?

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This season is shaping up to be one of Wolff’s, and Mercedes’ most competitive. With Christian Horner and Red Bull breathing down their necks, the Silver Arrows have their work cut out for them after the summer break.

Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021 McLaren team principal Toto Wolff before the race Pool via REUTERS/Christian Bruna

Although Mercedes lead the constructor’s championship by 12 points, Red Bull looked faster out of both teams overall so far. With F1 resuming in Belgium in two weeks’ time, expect the two rivals to engage in a closer battle in the remaining 12 races.

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Sanket Nair

639 articles

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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