Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff revealed he wanted to leave F1 in 2020 after feeling exhausted in the job.
Wolff joined Mercedes in 2013 from Williams Racing. He assumed the role of team boss, and under his leadership, the team won seven Drivers’ championships and eight consecutive Constructors’ championships.
He worked with non-executive chairman and three-time World Champion Niki Lauda, who sadly passed away three years ago.
When faced with Lauda’s death, the Austrian struggled to come to terms with it. In 2020, he dealt with some mental health issues, with it taking so much of a toll on him that he was considering stepping away.
Wolff revealed that he wanted to leave F1 in 2020, saying that he was burnt out by the end of it.
Speaking to Frankfurter Allgemeine about the struggles he faced in 2020, he said, “It was ten months that were very difficult for me – also mentally, I gave everything for almost eight years and felt burnt out to a certain extent.
“In addition, my contract was due to expire and I could have sold my shares. All this led to an inner conflict: do I want to stay in Formula 1? Can I still make my contribution? Or can someone else do the job better?”
“I spent almost a year thinking about that, although ‘thinking about it’ is still a rather positive expression,” he continued.
“It was a great deal of self-reflection, also because of the pressure I felt. In the end I chose Mercedes and Formula 1, I have found my place here.”
Had Wolff left in 2020, he would have not only parted ways with the F1 team, but also the Mercedes EQ Formula E team. He is Merc through and through, and is the most integral member of the Brackley team.