Wolff Warns F1 Drivers Against Living the ‘James Hunt Life’ With Hamilton, Verstappen & Vettel Example

Published 11/01/2021, 4:43 AM EDT


Formula One has changed since it first began in 1950. It has become more global and is the pinnacle of motorsport racing, producing some of the best drivers in the world. Recently, Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff stated that the sport has moved away from the rockstar lifestyle of drivers and has gone into becoming more intelligent socially.

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He stated that the drivers today are smarter and more intelligent than before. He also mentioned why it is important that the sport dishes its Hollywood-Esche lifestyle and move towards being more socially responsible.

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WATCH STORY: Lewis Hamilton’s Rendezvous in Paris

“There is no chance to live the James Hunt life anymore”- Toto Wolff

As reported by DailyMail, the Austrian mentioned that drivers today cannot have a playboy image like James Hunt. He also pointed out how Hamilton’s intellect surprises people around him.

Formula One F1 – Dutch Grand Prix – Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands – September 5, 2021, Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff arrives at the circuit REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

“The best drivers know how to maneuver through the field, even from junior years. It’s social intelligence. They never miss those opportunities. Only the drivers who are all-around capable will make it to the top.” said Wolff.

“You need to be intelligent to engage in all the discussions. You need to be socially intelligent to play the paddock, the opinion-makers, the decision-makers, to play that to your advantage. When you speak to Lewis or Max when you speak to Sebastian Vettel, you would be surprised how switched on they are,” he added. 

Just smart is fine

The Mercedes boss further added, “Not Oxford University degrees, but just smart. There is no chance to live the James Hunt life anymore. People are flabbergasted by how intelligent Lewis is sometimes.”

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Since joining the Mercedes AMG Team, Lewis Hamilton has been more vocal about the concerns in the world. He has voiced his opinions on topics such as racism, equal opportunities, and inclusivity. Sebastian Vettel too took inspiration from Hamilton and voiced his views ongoing issues in Germany and climate change.

Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 23, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton waves after qualifying in second place REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Alonso too dedicated his US GP helmet to the La Palma survivors and brought the attention of the people to the volcanic eruptions in that area.

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With more drivers advocating for issues they believe in, it is refreshing to see how much the sport has changed. Do you agree with Wolff’s opinion?

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Devang Chauhan

567 articles

Devang Chauhan is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication, he has a keen eye for writing engaging and detailed articles on F1. Previously a writer for Sports Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been an ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.

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