Toto Wolff, the team principal of Mercedes, and Frédéric Vasseur, the team principal of Ferrari, share a remarkable friendship that spans over 20 years, which has persisted despite the intense competition in Formula 1.
This close bond is so strong that Vasseur served as Wolff’s best man at his wedding. Even when Vasseur assumed his role at Ferrari’s Formula 1 management, their friendship remained steadfast, with the two maintaining weekly contact.
Their connection is further deepened by the fact that many young drivers Wolff managed in the past had raced for Vasseur’s ASM and ART Grand Prix teams, from Formula Renault to Formula 2, solidifying their friendship.
Even with Lewis Hamilton’s decision to leave Mercedes and join Ferrari, Wolff emphasized that their relationship would not change, stating, “There is no bad feeling towards Fred… It is a tough competition, and as much as I try to do the best for our group, he will do that for Ferrari.”
Wolff revealed that he and Vasseur have been in constant communication since Hamilton’s announcement, coordinating their discussions and speaking multiple times each week.
He likened their relationship to a physical sport like rugby, where they may have disagreements but maintain a respectful relationship off the field.
Regarding Lewis Hamilton’s move to Ferrari, Wolff expressed that the timing was surprising for Mercedes but acknowledged the need for both parties to plan for the future.
Despite Hamilton’s departure, Wolff remained confident that he and Hamilton would continue to have a good relationship.
He also did not doubt that Vasseur would foster a strong relationship with Hamilton, given their long history and Vasseur’s successful track record in understanding racing drivers’ minds.