Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton, Formula 1 drivers
Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton, Formula 1 drivers

Toto, Lewis, Mercedes!

Full-throttle performance

In Formula 1 you must be extraordinary just to be ordinary! The partnership of Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton parallels many themes of high performance… and of unlocking potential through inclusive diversity.

The return of Mercedes-Benz to Formula 1 in 2010 saw the team achieving limited success. In 2013, Toto Wolff was offered the job of turning team success around. After recruiting Lewis Hamilton, the team has dominated in an incredibly competitive sport – winning 7 Driver’s Championships and 7 Constructor’s Championships and around 75% of all races. It is clear that the Wolff/Hamilton partnership has helped take team performance to benchmark levels. Why has Mercedes’ success been such a monumental feat and why haven’t we seen it before?

It’s clear that the team’s competitive advantage is not technical – it’s operational. And it’s not about being talented, but rather, about maximising the potential of that talent.

Lewis Hamilton

Preparing for the podium finish

After going through numerous owners, numerous changes in management, in leadership, and in championship performance, Toto Wolff focused on building trust and establishing a team culture based on openness, no blame and no internal politics – his vision for the team was to establish an environment where people would dare to speak up following Ceri Evans’ “See it, Say It, Fix It”.

“Success is a lousy teacher and it’s important to reflect on why failures happen.”
Toto Wolff

In Toto Wolff’s mind he has a simple formula “Failure + Reflection = Progress” – it’s about creating a culture of restlessness, constant curiosity, persistence and self-discipline.

Wolff’s approach to maximising talent potential is clear in the partnership he has established with Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton’s path to success serves as a powerful trigger for opening conversations around intentionally moving towards a more inclusive and diverse team, and organisational culture.

In this case study we explore what achievements might be produced through partnerships, collaboration, mentorship and teamwork, and learn how high-performing teams cope with challenges, create opportunities from problems, and seize opportunities to win.

Ignite team and leadership conversations

Inclusive diversity laps conformity:

  • How are we intentionally embedding cognitive diversity and inclusion into the fabric of our teams and business to unlock potential?
  • In what areas should your diverse talent be making breakthroughs?

Teamwork pitstops and habits:

  • How are teams tuning in to each other?
  • How are we listening and acting on what needs to be done?

Partnership fuels collaboration:

  • We all know stories where each individual is better for having someone by their side (where each is enlarged by the other)
  • We ask: Who are we enlarging? Who is enlarging us?

Get under the bonnet and see how the engine runs:

  • How might deliberate practice help teams focus on the specific goal of improving performance?

Format and Approach

Ignite your teams to think differently about performance. Engage them in a multimedia, facilitator-led conversation on Zoom, supported with interactive moderated conversations in breakout rooms (hosted by our team of Pod Coaches).


This case study is available in a 90-minute or 180-minute online (Zoom) format.

How does it work?

  • Contact us to let us know that you want LRMG to share this case study with your team
  • We will work with you to design or customise key conversation and reflection questions
  • Participants will get a link to a pre-case study primer to complete prior to the presentation and conversation
  • Your team will receive our Podium Performance! Toolkit as a take-away to ignite further learning and reflection

“We’ve just started a new chapter as a team, in terms of how we educate ourselves, how we understand what we’re going to do to help be more diverse moving forward and more inclusive.”
Lewis Hamilton

lewis hamilton success elements
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