Wolff on hunt for Mercedes F1 team boss successor

Mercedes Formula 1 team boss Toto Wolff has given the firmest indication yet that he’s on the look out for a successor so he can step back from his role.

Wolff on hunt for Mercedes F1 team boss successor

Wolff admitted earlier this year that his time in helping Mercedes to a run of world championship success since 2014 has taken its toll on him, and he was pondering what he wanted to do in the future.

He is currently in negotiations with Mercedes owner Daimler about a new contract, and identifying what responsibilities he wants to have with the team from next year.

And while he will stay with the team in the short term, he is clear that he is considering how best to restructure the outfit so over time he can step aside into a new role and someone else can come in as team principal.

Read Also:

With F1 pushing for a calendar expansion, amid plans for a 23-race schedule in 2021, Wolff says the time is right for him to think about what’s best for Mercedes long term.

“The truth is that it's taking a toll on all of us and I've always been of the opinion that you should never go from very good to good, because then somebody else should take the baton and run,” he said.

“I still feel that I can make a contribution, I actually enjoy the race weekends a lot. And I've come to enjoy them more since lockdown. I just need to think how I would like to structure the team going forward.”

Wolff said that how Mercedes has been able to evolve its technical department over recent years, with Paddy Lowe leaving in 2017 and James Allison coming in, has provided some inspiration for sorting out the wider team structure.

“We had a great handover of responsibilities, whilst keeping the know how and the senior leadership in the company, but also not creating a bottleneck for the young talent to come up,” added Wolff.

“This is something which I find very interesting, and looking forward into the next few years, it would very much make me proud to see a team principal coming up, taking over from me and doing a better job than I could have done at that time. This is a really interesting project for me.

“I don't feel that I will let the team down. I'm a shareholder and I will stay with the team, that is what we have agreed with Daimler, but maybe then in another function. Whether it is CEO, or chairman, we haven't figured out yet.

“Daimler has very much given me the choice. But, before me transitioning into a new role, I need to make sure that somebody else is doing the 23 races and I can enjoy myself in front of a Zoom screen.”

Asked if it is possible that he could step down from his team principal role as early as next year, Wolff said: “I've spent quite some time thinking about it, and also involving the leadership within MGP, and we haven't identified the structure for the future.

“So, I can't tell you whether it is a year, two or three. The main thing is not me, you know, having had the toll of the racing, because I enjoy the competition. And as long as I enjoy the competition, I think I can contribute to the team success.

“But, whilst enjoying myself, I also need to make sure that there is a transition sometimes in the future, and I don't know when that is because I haven't identified the right person yet.”

shares
comments

Related video

Emilia Romagna GP: Hamilton leads Verstappen in practice
Previous article

Emilia Romagna GP: Hamilton leads Verstappen in practice

Next article

Live: Follow Emilia Romagna GP qualifying as it happens

Live: Follow Emilia Romagna GP qualifying as it happens
Load comments
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Prime

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Motorsport.com heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Prime

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Prime

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. Mark Gallagher ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022