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Wolff's Pain Revealed in Hamilton Departure

Wolff Unveils Hurtful Aspect in Hamilton Exit

02/07/2024

Wolff discloses a personal hurt in Hamilton’s F1 exit, marking a poignant chapter in motorsports.

In the Red Bull Ring paddock before the race start, Toto Wolff opened up, acknowledging that the circumstances of Lewis Hamilton’s departure were difficult for him to accept.

The fact that the driver decided to leave Mercedes F1 was one thing, but the way the information leaked was problematic for him, and he was annoyed to be accused of it.

“There’s a professional and personal relationship, and when he signed a very short-term contract last year, it was clear this could happen,” Wolff admits. “What hurt me was that I didn’t have time to react. It was practically the same day.”

“I read that the leak came from me! That’s nonsense. It was clear the leak came from Ferrari. And it happened on the day the financial results were released…”

“It didn’t give me enough time to manage things, to call our sponsors, the shareholders, and explain what was happening. That was the only thing to do.”

Even though he was hurt by Hamilton’s departure, Wolff assures they are still friends.

“But I read somewhere a good motto ‘play hard, forgive quickly and apologize when you’re wrong.’ And the personal relationship doesn’t suffer.”

“If I put myself in his place, I can understand because the team wasn’t doing very well. When you’re in the last phase of your career, everyone wants to wear a red suit with a prancing black horse on a yellow background. The financial conditions were probably also very positive.”

“So I understood why he was doing it and I am at peace with him, because my relationship is much deeper. For 12 years, we’ve been friends, allies, and brothers in crime and he has to be competitive in the car, but we haven’t divorced as friends.”

Wolff also vehemently returned to the accusation made in an email of a supposed sabotage recently leaked suggesting he would be “vindictive” in his relations with Hamilton in 2024.

“I am certainly not like that. On the contrary, I am for fairness and I fight for fairness. And I talk to Lewis every day.”

“He thinks we should also eliminate negativity. He has also experienced much worse abuse before and thinks we should ignore it.”

Another of Wolff’s relationships in F1 that has taken a fascinating turn recently is with Dr. Helmut Marko – his Austrian counterpart at his main rival, Red Bull Racing.

The 52-year-old admits he has grown closer to Marko amid the power struggle and conflict at Red Bull this year.

“But we talk as much or as little as before,” Wolff smiled.

“What I see is that the situation there affects him, that this team no longer has the identity it had before. I think they wanted this Horner story to be handled as it should have been – and it wasn’t.”

Wolff has also heavily courted Max Verstappen for a team change, which has also brought him closer to Max’s father, Jos.

“Jos and I are on the same wavelength and have always had a good relationship. We never had the same mindset. We just had different viewpoints and perspectives.”

Wolff's Pain Revealed in Hamilton Departure

Wolff’s Pain Revealed in Hamilton Departure Wolff’s Pain Revealed in Hamilton Departure

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