Toto Wolff: “I was the subject of anti-semitism in Vienna”

© Daimler AG

While commenting on racist and sexist abuse at the Austrian Grand Prix, Toto Wolff reveals he has been exposed to anti-semitism while he was living with a Jewish family when he was younger.

All throughout the Austrian Grand Prix weekend, reports of vicious racist, sexist and homophobic abuse perpetrated by fans at the track have been coming out.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff reveals he himself has experienced what it’s like to be subjected to this type of abuse.

“I was the subject of anti-semitism in Vienna,” the Austrian explained.

“I wasn’t a Jew but my best friend was and I lived with his family. And I know how it is on Saturday morning to walk into the synagogue and have anti-semitic abuse and it is just terrible.

“I think how it has evolved over time. It was somehow understood that you have to accept a little bit of suffering if somebody was making a sexist comment or something that was just described as banter, but today, that is just not on anymore.

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“People feel truly hurt or discriminated and that is why we all need to be more aware.”

Wolff then said that what was once seen as just ‘banter’ needs to be rethought, because it can cause a lot of unneeded pain.

“We have grown up with that banter. How many pictures do I still get sent ‘hehe, haha’ but I have the perfect professor at home.

“Susie [Wolff, Toto’s wife] sees that and says that was seen as funny 10 years ago because nobody cared, but I can tell you it’s borderline, or for me that is too much.

“For us guys who have had that, it was always seen as banter. We just need to have a little bit of a mind shift because the girls and the ladies don’t want that anymore,” Toto concluded.

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