George Russell said he was “surprised” by the “great driving qualities” of Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. The surprise came when the pair tried ice rallying at a recent promotional event for the team.
Since joining the Silver Arrows earlier this year, Russell says he’s been learning “new things” about his mentor and boss. Speaking on the F1: Beyond the Grid podcast, the Brit said:
“We held an ice driving event earlier this year in Austria with a host of sponsors. The day ended at six, and Toto and I stayed until nine. It was pitch dark, but we had lights on this little rally car. It was doing a few laps, I was a passenger.”
“I was quite surprised at the commitment and the pace he was showing. He’s probably gone several times more than me, but the pace was quite strong. So, I’m learning new things about him.”
Before joining Mercedes, Toto Wolff was a professional racing driver. Wolff also worked as a driving instructor for many years in the Red Bull ring before changing careers as a professional investor.
In the past, Wolff has shown his impressive driving skills against several Mercedes F1 drivers, including Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas. Although its performance never quite matched these riders, it nonetheless garnered praise.
George Russell ‘intrigued’ by Toto Wolff’s involvement in technical aspects of F1
Besides his impressive driving skills, Toto Wolff’s knowledge and involvement in the technical aspects of F1 also impressed George Russell.
Speaking on the F1: Beyond the Grid podcast, the Briton revealed he was “intrigued” by Wolff’s understanding of the technical issues. He said:
“It’s been really fascinating for me to see how technically involved Toto is. First of all, I never really knew how good his technical knowledge was, but now he’s fully involved in all these meetings. techniques.”
“He really tries to push the whole team and he’s a racer at heart.”
Despite his lack of engineering background, Toto Wolff was always fully involved in the team’s technical decision-making.