Formula 1 | “The Greatest”: Toto Wolff pays homage to Michael Schumacher

Toto Wolff and Michael Schumacher missed each other exactly when they were at Mercedes. When the old master said goodbye in 2012, Wolff’s commitment was just beginning. Although the overlap was only tiny, the Mercedes team boss still raves about the unbelievable encounters with the record world champion. What Schumacher taught him and in which game the German made him look like a schoolboy, Wolff explains in the exclusive RTL interview above.

Schumacher “did everything right”

But what fascinated Wolff about Schumacher at least as much as his professional know-how was his private life: “He is the greatest of all, the first to have such a successful career and a role model for me as a father. The way these children have become… despite of the parents’ success. It’s unbelievable, so for me everything was done right.”

The 50-year-old is himself the father of two small sons. Despite or precisely because of his experience in motorsport, Wolff hopes that his two boys will not pursue a career as racing drivers: “As a father, I would have something against it, because we know that the sport is simply dangerous. But of course you can give a child that wants to do it on their own will, has talent and ambition, of course not in the way as a parent, but me
would rather he play soccer or tennis.” A final sentence that Michael Schumacher also said about his son almost two decades ago. We know how this story ended.

Wolff feels with the Schumacher family

Due to his father’s skiing accident, Mick Schumacher cannot get any tips from his father at the race track. A fate that Toto Wolff visibly touches: “I can absolutely understand it, I lost my father who was 39. Of course it’s a completely different situation. His father is there. Maybe not to the extent that he thinks it is would have liked to have and that’s incredibly important as a teenager and of course as you get older. A father is the most trusted person, someone you look up to.”

Wolff is certain that the 23-year-old would be spared a lot of scorn and ridicule if his father were omnipresent on the racetracks of this world: “Especially as far as racing is concerned, I don’t think there would be all kinds of heckling if the Michael would be there. So of course I’m sorry for Mick, for the family as a whole and for Michael.”

Wolff on Mick’s future: “It’s like a share price”

Despite the sad circumstances, Wolff is certain that Schumacher Junior will go his own way – in the premier class: “We know that Mick has talent and, above all, intelligence. You can be very successful with that in Formula 1.” Mistakes are always part of the game: “It’s not like a straight line up where everything always goes well, it’s more like a share price – there are good days and bad days.”

The recent criticism should therefore not be overstated. “Mick is very strong in the Ferrari camp. And in good hands there and owes them a lot. My heckling is probably not necessary then. He has a good support network,” Wolff is sure.

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