Toto Wolff explains the role of Pep Guardiola in his F1 journey moving forward

Henry Valantine
Toto Wolff with Pep Guardiola. Abu Dhabi November 2022.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Abu Dhabi November 2022.

Toto Wolff has spoken about the rapport he quickly struck up with Manchester City football manager Pep Guardiola, and how he will figure in his “journey” in the future.

Guardiola was seen talking to Wolff in the Mercedes garage at the season finale in Abu Dhabi, with the Premier League season on hiatus as football’s World Cup kicked off in Qatar.

Given the status of the duo at the top of two of the world’s biggest sporting organisations, Wolff said he immediately spotted similarities in how he and Guardiola speak and interact, and the feeling was reciprocated.

They had not become acquainted properly prior to the weekend, but he said Guardiola, who has won dozens of major trophies across Europe as a player and manager, will play more of a part in his future.

“Yes, we were on stage in a Q&A, invited by Puma,” Wolff said of how the two met on Formula 1’s Beyond the Grid podcast.

“The two of us, we didn’t know each other but when I heard him talking, it was like my sentences, the same approach – and he said the same about me.

“Fundamentally, it’s down to human management, and [he is] someone that is certainly going to be part of my journey going forward because he was just on the same wavelength, and even the family was on the same wavelength between Susie and I, so [an] exciting personality.”

Toto Wolff ‘grew’ in 2022 struggles

When asked about how the issues Mercedes faced throughout 2022 affected him, Wolff denied that he has become increasingly competitive over the past decade of being in charge of the team.

With ‘only’ one victory to show for their efforts in 2022, dropping from first to third in the Constructors’ Championship after eight consecutive titles, the Mercedes team boss feels that rather than seeing the year as a failure, he has taken stock and looked back at how he “developed” over the course of the season, for better and worse.

“I think I’ve always been competitive,” he said. “First of all, I like to meet my own expectations and the standards I set for myself and the organisation, but also because we are in a relative sport. So that has stayed the same every single season.

“But obviously it has been a journey. I learned, I developed as a personality, good things and bad things, and I wouldn’t want to miss the 2022 season, because I grew.”

Read more: Paddy Lowe on the ‘massive news’ that ‘got buried’ in Abu Dhabi 2021