Toto Wolff once turned down a Formula 1 drive!

Toto Wolff is one of the pivotal individuals behind the remarkable success of Mercedes in Grand Prix racing.

In addition to his business acumen and management skills, Wolff is also a very competent driver who in his early years raced in the sport’s junior ranks and in GT racing with a fair amount of success.

His main claim to fame as a driver is winning the grueling Nurburgring 24-hour event in 1994. The Austrian entertained at one point the hope of one day reaching the big time, and indeed was even offered an opportunity to race in F1, a chance he ultimately declined.

“After I won the Nurburgring 24-hour race in 1994 I got an offer to race in Formula 1,” Wolff recalled in an interview with F1i.

“At the time, one of my sponsors also happened to support Karl Wendlinger in F1, and when Karl was seriously injured in Monaco, that asked me if I would be interested in taking over his sport at Sauber.

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“I was already fully aware however that I would not be successful in F1, and I was also a bit too tall and a bit too heavy!

“The odds were against me enjoying a good career in F1, or even elsewhere as a racing driver. I told them it would be a waste of money. That’s when I decided not to pursue my dream of becoming a professional race driver. It was in May 1994.”

Given the good fortune which has come his way in his various guises as a business entrepreneur and the manager of Mercedes, we don’t believe Toto must have much regrets about his very wise career choice.

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