Russell walked into Wolff’s office at age 15, aiming to convince Mercedes’ team boss to sign him to a junior driver contract. The rest is history.
“I’ve had his contract since he was 15 years old,” Toto Wolff told Sky Germany.
“He notified me via e-mail that he was in need of advice, told me he had previously won the British karting championship and just become British Formula 4 champion.
“He came to my office, all alone in a black suit with a black tie – it must have been his communion suit because it was a bit tight – and a PowerPoint presentation.
“In this presentation, he listed every reason why he could be a successful Mercedes driver in the future.
“He also had a question. He wanted to race with Carlin in Formula 3 and asked if it was a no-go for me because they used Volkswagen engines.
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“I told him ‘no, that’s fine, if you want to race with Carlin, go ahead’. And he has been under contract with Mercedes ever since.”
Wolff went on to give more details on the famous presentation itself.
“It was well made, although he was a bit nervous. He also looked a little more like an accountant than a racing driver.
“First was his resume along with his previous experiences. Then a page with his strengths, followed by one with his weaknesses, followed by how he wants to continue working on his weaknesses.
“He also had a career road-map laid out, with his end goal being to drive for the Mercedes Formula 1 team.
“So he had it all planned out in his head back then already,” concluded the Austrian.