Toto Wolff says he’s an ‘aggressive kid’ as he addresses Saudi outburst

The Mercedes boss couldn't contain his anger after Sir Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen came together at the penultimate race of the 2021 season.

Toto Wolff has admitted that he’s “not proud” of smashing headphones in anger during the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

In the penultimate round of the season, the titanic title fight between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton heated up as it so often had that year.

With Hamilton trying to pass the Red Bull driver for the lead of the race, the two came together, and that came after some extremely aggressive defending from Verstappen earlier on.

Wolff couldn’t contain his anger, taking off his headphones and smashing them on his desk in the Mercedes garage.

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Cameras captured the moment, and it has been replayed and spoken about a huge amount ever since, with Christian Horner recently discussing it.

“It’s very easy to pull his chain and you can see that it sometimes affects him,” the Red Bull team principal told Sky Sports.

“Last year was so intense and of course, it was the first time he’d ever been in that situation [involved in a close title fight].

“It’s always interesting to see how people react and, when they’re smashing headphones and so on, you can see you’ve got to them.”

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While most people now see Wolff’s act of aggression as something to laugh about now though, the Austrian doesn’t.

“I am not proud of smashing headphones,” the Mercedes team principal told the Financial Times.

“That’s how I am. That is still the aggressive kid who had a really tough upbringing that comes out. I literally had to fight for feeling adequate.”

This year, there haven’t been any battles for the lead for Wolff to get angry about with his team falling behind Red Bull and Ferrari in the pecking order.

Discussing why that has happened, he says it’s simply a case of getting the science wrong when designing the 2022 car.

“We got the physics wrong. F1 is physics,” the Austrian added. 

He remains immensely proud of the dominance they enjoyed prior to this year though and says they’re ultimately only human.

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“No sports team in any sport has ever won eight consecutive world championship titles, and there are many reasons for that, and what is at the core is the human.”

“The human gets complacent. You are not energised in the same way you were before. You are maybe not as ambitious.”

There were some positive signs for Wolff and co in the final few rounds before this year’s summer break, and many expect them to get involved in the fight for victories again before the end of the year.