Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has opened up on his relationship with Formula One superstar Lewis Hamilton, following the Brit’s sixth world title win.
Hamilton came second in the United States Grand Prix in Texas two weeks ago, picking up the four points he needed to win yet another world title.
His win brought him within a single title victory of legendary F1 driver Michael Schumacher.
The win further boosts Hamilton’s status as one of the most famous sportsman in the world – and one of the most successful in British history.
Wolff believes that it’s wrong to look at sport stars as mere professionals – stating that it’s the person behind the superstar which really counts in his mind.
“What I look at is the person behind the superstar,” Wolff explains.
“Many years ago, I went into a little pub in Vienna, and a Hollywood celebrity came in.
“There weren’t any tables free. The agent who was with the celebrity said to the pub owner: ‘Don’t you know who this is? This is an actor, a huge star.’ The owner looked at him and said: ‘We are all superstars in our own way.’ And then he kicked him out.
“When I interact with people, I don’t care at all who they are. I have a lot of respect for those who are not in the public eye, or who are not great achievers. I respect them because of how they are: their behaviour, their values.
“If you look at the common pattern among football managers dealing with stars, the relationships are very authentic and neutral.
“I don’t think Jurgen Klopp cares how many Instagram followers a player has. He cares for the human. This is why my relationship with Lewis was never disturbed by the rock-star factor.”
Wolff also spoke of Hamilton’s character and admitted that the 34-year-old’s meticulous way of thinking is what has boosted him among his peers in recent seasons.
“I’m not sure ‘high-maintenance’ does him justice. I came to the realisation that some of the best people can also be the most complex,” the Austrian added.
“They are often very direct, have strong opinions, and clear objectives that they won’t be distracted from.”
Published at Mon, 18 Nov 2019 18:02:00 +0000