Toto Wolff reveals ‘no d***heads’ policy at Mercedes as Lewis Hamilton talks progress

Sam Cooper
Mercedes CEO Toto Wolff in the pit lane. Baku April 2023.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff stands in the pit lane.

Toto Wolff has spoken of the “no d***heads” policy he operates at the Mercedes Formula 1 team.

Wolff has been the boss of the Mercedes team since 2013 and his connection with the Silver Arrows goes further than that as he owns 33% of the team alongside INEOS and Daimler.

Under Wolff’s leadership, Mercedes have enjoyed unprecedented success including winning seven Drivers’ titles from 2014 to 2020 and eight consecutive Constructors’ titles from 2014 to 2021.

All the while he managed to maintain a happy workforce and has revealed how a concept he borrowed from the New Zealand rugby team is crucial to that.

“Sometimes the best ones are the most complex ones,” Wolff told England cricketer Nasser Hussain as part of a new Sky Sports documentary called Secrets of Success.

“I think it’s just acknowledging that we’re all different. It is my duty to create an environment which makes everybody thrive. You can be complex, you can be fussy. We tolerate edgy people, that’s fine. We want to have the best ones and as I said before, they are complex.

“But the fallback would always be the All Blacks’ policy, no d***heads. If you lack the basic values of integrity, loyalty and truthfulness, then you shouldn’t be here.”

Even during Mercedes’ poor 2022 and again into 2023, Wolff restrained from pointing fingers, instead using pronouns such as we when discussing the team’s problems.

His next problem is sorting the future of star driver Lewis Hamilton who is only a few months away from his current Mercedes deal.

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Wolff had initially suggested a new contract would be sorted over the winter break but the summer break is almost upon us and still there has been no progress.

Perhaps what is holding it up is a potential ambassadorial role for Hamilton after he hangs his racing boots up with the Daily Mail suggesting the driver he is after a 10-year deal to become a Mercedes brand ambassador.

The tabloid also claims Hamilton has been offered one year with the option of a second and £27.5 million a year but the driver wants a longer deal that includes a bonus of £15 million to be added to his pay as guaranteed income.