Toto Wolff has two key skills which could bring Lewis Hamilton into title contention

Lewis Hamilton refuses to let 2021 season ‘define’ his career

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Toto Wolff has two key skills which could help in Mercedes’ battle to bring Lewis Hamilton back to the front of the pack. Speaking to F1’s Beyond the Grid podcast, Toto’s wife Susie said the team principal is a good communicator.

Susie, who is a racing team owner in her own right at Rokit Venturi’s Formula E team, also added Wolff “wants bright people around him” who can challenge him over decisions. This trait could prove vital for Mercedes’ season as they aim to use their experience to find pace for Hamilton and George Russell.

The Silver Arrows are struggling in 2022 and have been the third-fastest car on the grid in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The poor start can be overturned but Hamilton is now almost 30 points behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in the championship hunt.

Susie Wolff said: “I am definitely inspired by how he runs the organisation. He’s very authentic, he’s very very good in his communication and that’s where he has a lot of empathy with the people he works with.

“He surrounds himself by very talented people, he’s not scared to be challenged. He wants bright people around him who do challenge him.

“That’s something which I definitely learned from watching him over so many years. It’s one thing trying to be successful as a team and get to the front but it’s another thing trying to maintain that success.

“They obviously had a huge challenge in that they’d won title after title and how do you keep a group of individuals together and motivated. That’s been one of his great challenges but I’m just inspired watching what he does.”

Toto Wolff has previously spoken about his leadership style at the helm and touched upon a no-blame culture at the team.

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He said he learned many of his skills while watching from the sidelines at Williams and in the DTM.

The Austrian explained: “I was able to follow different management style and they went from really micromanagement going into every detail and the non-empowerment of individuals. To the other side, almost not having any leash and letting everybody go off in all kinds of directions.

“From then I developed my own way of tackling it, and I believe it’s all about hiring and developing the right individuals. Forming a culture and a team spirit around them and then finding the core objective Once that is defined we leave it to each other in our respective field to deliver on the core objective.”

Toto also claimed his team will “not rest” until they are back near the front of the field.

After disappointing results in Saudi Arabia, he said: “It is extremely painful to be not part of those fun games, and by quite a chunk of lap time deficit.

“We’re not going to rest until we are back in the mix. But you’re absolutely right: it’s no fun at all. [It’s] an exercise in humility, and it’s going to make us stronger in the end, even though it’s not funny right now.”

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