MERCEDES boss Toto Wolff has opened up about the tragedy of losing his dad to cancer when he was just 15 – and says it has motivated him to become the successful F1 boss he is today.
Wolff, 51, was born in Vienna, a two-hour drive from the venue for this weekend's Austrian GP.
His net worth saw him announced as a billionaire by Forbes earlier this year – but it was a far cry from the financial hardship and loss he experienced as a child.
He said: "There is a certain genetic predisposition that you have, you are good at things, bad at others.
"You have a certain degree of talent but there is a big influence obviously through your childhood and I believe that there were many effects in my life — humiliation and trauma — that were beneficial for my later career.
"I would rather that they did not happen. So it is a mix in my opinion.
"Talent needs to meet hard work, there needs to be ambition, particularly with children and teenagers who grow up, the right support network and then a big portion of luck.
"It [his father's death] has an impact until today. Since I can remember my father was ill with the brain cancer and suffered with it for 10 years and then eventually died when I was 15.
"That is a time when as a boy you need the father. That wasn't the case with me. We were in financial difficult circumstances that didn't help either.
"So that certainly is part of how I am today with all the bad sides that come with it, the trauma, but also on the other side, I think ambition and eagerness to do well."
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