Toto Wolff reveals personal issue that had “the biggest impact” on him

© Sebastian Kawka for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

In a new interview, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff opens up on his difficult childhood and a “humiliating experience” he and his sister went through.

Toto Wolff is a hugely successful person, there is no doubt about that. Since he became the team principal of Mercedes, the team won eight consecutive constructors’ and seven consecutive drivers’ titles.

However, as Toto has talked about in the past, his childhood was not an easy one. In a new interview with The Times, Toto opens up about some hard experiences he went through in his early days.

“I think the key moment was the tragic loss of my father from brain cancer when I was 15,” the Austrian said.

“He was terminally ill for 10 years, so basically all throughout my childhood. And the financial hardship was related to this. That had the biggest impact on me as a person.

“My parents, with the help of my grandfather, put me in the French private school in Vienna, which was advantageous for my career as it helped my language. But the obstacle was that I went to school in an affluent environment without being a part of it.

“Day-to-day life was about my mother working hard as a doctor just to afford for us to stay at the school. She might have not been good at motherhood, but she kept us alive, she kept us going.

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“But it meant that certain things happened to me and my sister. I remember that we were taken out of class when I was 14 because the school fees were not paid, so we were sent home.

“How do you explain in the tram back home why you had to leave after lunch-break? It was quite a humiliating experience.”

Wolff then said the thing he cherishes the most now, is his family.

“I have great moments in F1. I love the team, I love the challenge. But what I really love is my family.

“I have three children, who are 21, 18 and five years old. Having the family together is what gives me greatest enjoyment.

“And with my wife I have found the perfect partne,” Wolff concluded.

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