Such is Toto Wolff’s perceived animosity for Max Verstappen, a lady who applied to become his son Jack’s nanny assumed she would not get the job because she is Dutch.
As Wolff’s star driver Lewis Hamilton took on Verstappen for the 2021 World title, the long-term friendship between Wolff and the Verstappen family broke down after the British Grand Prix.
That Sunday Hamilton clipped Verstappen’s rear wheel as they fought for position through the high-speed Copse corner with Verstappen off into the gravel.
Slamming in the barrier with an impact of 51G, the Red Bull driver later complained of dizziness and was taken to hospital for precautionary checks.
While he was in the sick bed, Hamilton, having overcome a 10-second penalty for the incident, celebrated his race victory with his team boss.
Adding to the Verstappen family’s annoyance, Wolff didn’t call to check on the Dutchman.
“There have been conversations with Toto Wolff and I also thought we had a good relationship with him, but the real Toto has shown himself lately,” said Jos Verstappen. “There is no relationship anymore.
“Mercedes was, of course, leading for years. Now they are cornered for the first time and you see another Toto. It’s a shame, but that’s how you get to know people.”
That Hamilton and Verstappen went on to clash at the Italian Grand Prix before the latter won the World title in controversial circumstances did not help the situation.
So much so that Wolff’s perceived feelings towards Verstappen had a nanny worried that being Dutch would exclude her from the list of candidates.
“I asked why,” the Mercedes motorsport boss told De Telegraaf, “and she thought I hated Max Verstappen.
“But I really like Max,” he insisted.
“Max, in combination with his car, is the benchmark. He has matured so much and doesn’t make mistakes anymore.
“And he’s only 25 years old, right? You wouldn’t think someone of that age is so mature, also on his outlook on life. It’s really impressive.”
He added: “Whether it’s Max, Lewis, Michael Schumacher or Ayrton Senna, they’re all different but they all have a raw edge.
“I like those kinds of people, difficult people. That often means they have more ambition and more dedication. This not only applies to drivers, but also to the top people within a team.”
Verstappen looks to be on course for a third Drivers’ title this season, the Dutchman creating a 14-point lead over his team-mate Sergio Perez with his third win in five races at the Miami GP.