Guenther Steiner names the next team principal he wants to see write book

Sam Cooper
Haas team boss Guenther Steiner at the Austrian Grand Prix. Spielberg, July 2022.

Haas' Guenther Steiner at the Austrian Grand Prix. Spielberg, July 2022.

Guenther Steiner has singled out Toto Wolff as the one team principal he would like to see write his own autobiography.

Steiner went from team principal to writer last year when he penned a diary that was turned into a book that hit the shelves last month.

Surviving to Drive is an account of the many challenges that go into a team principal’s day to day life and no one can claim to have had a more varied and challenging year to manage than Steiner.

Steiner has been on somewhat of a tour to promote his book and was recently speaking to the Miami Herald where the subject of whose memoir he would like to read was brought up.

“Oh, I am overthinking this,” he said. “Toto Wolff because a lot of us don’t know where he really comes from. There’s still some mystery there. I know quite a bit about where he was before F1, so putting that on paper, I’ll pick him.”

The day-by-day review format of Steiner’s book was a little different than standard autobiographies and he said the reason for that was that he did not think there was enough in his life to make an autobiography interesting.

“The idea didn’t come from me. I was against the idea of doing an autobiography because there were not enough interesting things to write about, and I didn’t want to do what everybody else does. I was not ready for that, and they came up with the idea of a year as Guenther as a team principal, and I liked it a lot better.” recommends

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What is Toto Wolff’s pre-F1 background?

Toto Wolff is undoubtedly one of the most famous faces in the paddock and having just hit the billionaire mark, he is also one of the richest.

But not much was known about the fresh-faced Austrian when he got involved with the sport in 2009 as a shareholder of Williams.

Long before his venture into the Grove-based outfit, Wolff was born and raised in Vienna to a Polish mother and a Romanian father but tragedy would stike his family at a young age when his father was diagnosed with brain cancer. Toto was just eight years old at the time.

“My childhood was very much harmed by my father being very ill all of what I can remember whilst being a child. He was ill for 10 years before he died,” Wolff told Insider in 2021.

“We can obviously only talk about ourselves and there is always a risk that our own perceptions and perspectives, we see them as the absolute truths but there is no such thing as absolute truths and I can only see things from my childhood.

“A young boy that’s seeing his father in a degrading condition is something that is always going to affect you and will stay with me forever.”

This sudden loss fuelled Wolff’s relentless pursuit of success and that pursuit was first focused on the world of finance where he dropped out of university and set up his own investment firm, Marchfifteen, in 1998.

Having made several good investments and even founding a publicly traded technology company, Wolff moved towards another of his loves, motorsport.

He was not a total rookie in the industry either. In the early 2000s, he had begun to make a name for himself as a sports car driver and secured a category win at the 1994 24 Hours of Nurburgring.

His driving career would come to a swift end in 2009 though when he suffered a serious injury behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 RSR at the Nurburgring Nordschleife. Hitting the wall at 27G, Wolff was lucky to walk away with his life and admitted he could not smell or taste for six months.

That same year, he got involved in F1 but at the boardroom level rather than in the garage. He purchased a 16% stake in Williams and was named executive director in 2012.

In January of the following year, he left Williams to take up the same role at Mercedes and as part of the move, Wolff purchased 30% of the Formula 1 team which would prove to be a very lucrative deal as their success increased.

Wolff sold the rest of his Williams shares in 2016 but continues to not only be team principal and CEO at Mercedes but also a one third owner alongside Daimler and Jim Ratcliffe through INEOS.