Wolff rejected an offer from Sauber to become a F1 driver


Toto Wolff is a successful business man who burst onto the Formula 1 for Williams in 2009, but was unable to do so much before as a pilot.

The austrian started his career in the Championship of Austria of Formula Ford in 1992, and also in that same category in Germany two years following. In 1994 he won the 24 Hours of Nürburgring and, also in GT, he performed different tests since the turn of the century. In 2004 he shared the car with Karl Wendlinger in the FIA GT Championship and it was that same pilot who, indirectly, provided him the opportunity to compete in the Formula 1 ten years earlier.

Karl Wendlinger, also austrian, was a pilot of Sauber in 1994 due to, among other things, to a sponsor that he and Wolff shared. When Wendlinger suffered a strong crash at the Monaco Grand Prix that left him in a coma for 19 days, Toto Wolff received an offer to substitute for him. “After winning the 24 hours of Nürburgring in 1994, I had an offer to race in F1. At that time, one of my sponsors also supported Karl Wendlinger and, when Karl was severely injured in Monaco, they asked me if I would be interested in to take his place at Sauber. But I was already aware that it would not be successful in F1, besides, was too high and heavy”.

Wolff has, in statements to F1i.com, that in that moment he realized that he was not going to be able to become a pilot of success in motorsports, aiming towards other sectors, while still enjoying the racing in a way less professional. “The odds were against me and I knew I could not enjoy a good career in F1 or even in other championships as a racing driver. I told them that it would be a waste of money. That was when I decided not to continue with my dream of becoming a pilot of a racing professional. In may 1994”.