Formula 1 Racing

Wolff fully committed to seeing team back to front of F1 grid

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG, with Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG

The German manufacturer has had a difficult start to the 2023 campaign, with the new W14 proving to be well adrift of the pace-setting Red Bull car.

The competitive situation has prompted Mercedes to work on a complete revamp of its design concept, which it hopes can deliver big steps forward in pace over the remainder of the season.

Wolff has long talked about the management challenges that come when a dominant team faces more challenging moments and has studied deeply what has happened in other sports like football.

Equally, he is also well aware of the need for managers and bosses to know when is the right time for them to hand over to others for the good of the organisation.

But having stayed in place amid Mercedes’ dominant era, he has made it clear that he does not believe the current situation at the squad is enough for him to feel it is time to step aside.

“Whether it is good or bad, I really enjoy being the team principal of the team,” explained Wolff when asked about his future at the team.

“I think I can contribute. But, if one day I come to the conclusion, or people that are close to me are going to tell me that I’m not [contributing], then I will consider giving the baton to somebody else.

“I would have no shame that I’ll criticise from the sidelines, from a TV screen and know it better. But, until then, I think I still have fun doing it.

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG, with Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

“And obviously turning the ship around, after so many successful years, that’s really a good challenge.”

Wolff’s position as team principal is different to those of some of his rivals because he is a shareholder in the squad.

But, while that would not stop him from being asked to step down if the management board felt it was the right thing to do, he says the support around him is solid.

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Asked about the reaction of Mercedes’ other shareholders, Wolff said: “The people in charge in Mercedes and in INEOS, they are their high-performance individuals within the core business or in sports.

“We have all been through downs and ups and there is not a millimetre of doubt. There is so much support from them in order to get us back on track.

“I couldn’t wish, from neither Jim [Ratcliffe] nor Ola [Kallenius], and all the others that are associated with this, for better support.”

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