Wolff worried that talented drivers are hampered by lack of funds

Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams talks with Toto Wolff (AUT), Williams Investor. Formula One Testing, Day One, Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Tuesday 15 November 2011.Jan.14  Toto Wolff, a shareholder and director of the Williams team, doubts that he will continue his role of driver manager as costs are hampering the progress of truly talented drivers.

That is despite the Austrian’s latest charge, Valtteri Bottas, having successfully risen through the ranks to make his Formula One debut in 2013.

Wolff told Switzerland’s Motorsport Aktuell that 22-year-old Finn Bottas is more an exception than the rule.

Rather, “If you now need € 100 000 for a national karting season, and € 250 000 for international, then eventually the level [of the drivers] will drop.”

But Wolff said he hopes that drivers with little money but big talent will still be able to rise through the ranks in future.

A current example, he said, is Bottas.

“He never had much money, but he always had support, just because he was good,” Wolff insisted.

But actually,  managing motor racing drivers is a thankless job” he said

“If the target fails,” said Wolff, “everything’s the fault of the manager. If everything goes smoothly, [and] you never know what happens – some drivers are champions of short memory.”

He said he has no plans to repeat the Bottas project with another young talent.

“If you have to put two million on the table for GP2, then driver management makes little sense,” said Wolff. (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • McLarenfan

    Makes a lot of sense, you can see that just with the line up of Williams.

  • Bec

    If the teams accepted a Cost Ceiling, then they’d instantly have more money, and wouldn’t have to rely on well sponsored drivers.

  • Kimi4WDC


    It’s not that simple. It’s like blaming cars for green house effect, it’s way more complicated and many more substantial factors are involved.

    It’s good that he does a reference to karting. When I was driving, European season would cost you $45-80. It was increasing ever since, this is not Formula 1, mind you.

    This is just a mental state of our society. We work around money, they drive us forward and as a result we need more of it to be better!!!!

    So you can’t put Formula 1 into a vacuum and force everyone behave accordingly while the very people working there have different approach on their mind.

    ps. My personal view is, they should make it limitless funding and innovation. This way it will collapse on it self and reach balanced point. No sponsor will pay $50million while there is only one team winning everything. And that one winning team will not be receiving as much money when everyone knows there is no competition in that sport.

  • Kimi4WDC


  • william pym

    this guy is full of rubbish if he was looking for talent
    for his second seat at williams he would have offered the
    seat to either hulkenberg sutil kobayshi or kovlainen instead
    he has hired a gp3 driver who has not raced at all in the last 18 months who he manages.i can not believe that you guys
    publish this garbage

  • Hawk

    Did u say Kovalainen? hmmmm…….
    I think the word talent and Kovalainen do not belong to the same sentence