Wolff: I hope Ross is going to stay as long as possible

Toto Wolff taking charge at Mercedes

Toto Wolff taking charge at Mercedes

Newly appointed Mercedes F1 team executive director Toto Wolff has dismissed reports that Ross Brawn’s role as team principal is under threat, with McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe being lined up to run the Formula One team instead.

Paddy Lowe (GBR) McLaren Technical Director. Formula One Testing, Day 4, Jerez, Spain,  Sunday 13 February 2011.BBC pundit and former F1 team owner Eddie Jordan reported on Tuesday that McLaren stalwart Lowe was set to jump ship and follow 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton to the Mercedes works team.

“Lowe won’t be technical director; he’ll be more senior than that,” said the Irishman after German media had also tipped Lowe to go. “Lowe will effectively be running the team on a day-to-day basis.”

The BBC said that the plan was for Wolff to become team principal and figurehead with Lowe running the sporting and technical aspects.

McLaren had no comment about Lowe, while Wolff, announced on Monday as a 30 percent stakeholder in Mercedes GP and coordinator of all of the German carmaker’s motorsport activities, told reporters in a conference call that the Brawn report was news to him.

“You can see that this is speculation that is coming up in some of the media. I think I would be aware about that,” he said. “It’s all speculation. Ross is there and is part of the leading team and I hope Ross is going to stay as long as possible.”

Mercedes GP Ross BrawnA Daimler statement on Monday had listed Brawn, Wolff and the team’s non-executive chairman Niki Lauda as the team’s management.

Wolff, who was previously at Williams and remains a shareholder in that team with his wife Susie retaining her job as development driver, would not be drawn on Lowe’s reported move.

“Paddy’s a recognised person in the paddock and he has been with McLaren for 15 or 20 years and I read it in the paper. That is all I can tell you,” he said.

“In Formula One there is always a lot of speculation about personnel and people joining or not joining. There is nothing I can tell you at this stage.”

Wolff, who said that the Mercedes job had emerged only in the last few weeks, has yet to visit the Mercedes GP factory at Brackley in central England and was not in a position to talk about management structures or staff changes.

“There are many intelligent people there and I’d like to meet them, speak to them and analyse and then make my conclusions,” he added. “There is an organisation in place and I’d like to work with it.”

Toto Wolff and wife SusieAsked whether Williams might switch to Mercedes engines in 2014, when a new, 1.6-litre V6 turbo power unit is due to be introduced, Wolff said he believed thatthe team is happy with Renault but everything was open.

“No discussions have been held,” added the Austrian.

Wolff said he had no ‘silent partners’ in his Mercedes shareholding and would be dropping out of any active role in driver and asset management and private equity funds.

He recognised also that his new role would have an effect on his domestic life, with his Scottish-born wife working for a rival team.

“It’s going to be pretty difficult,” he said. “Last week she came back from an aero test and I asked her ‘how was your day?’ and she said ‘I think I can’t speak to you about that’.

“So we have to find new ways of communication at home, which is quite interesting. We are not talking motorsport any more at dinner but [about] lots of other stuff.” (Reuters)

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  • william pym

    i do not trust this guy as soon as he gets bottas a seat at williams he leaves the team.now you have a guy who is the head of mercedes.who also still owns 15 percent of williams and the driver who he manages drives for williams and he also has a 30 percent shareholding at mercedes.2 words CONFLICT OF INTREST

  • Djabula

    I hope he will leave the team as soon as possible because there it’s no place for him and Michael.He made his return to f1 and lost his pertentage of wins and achivment and now he was let to go and replaced with hamilton.They should beg Schumi to stay not hire hamilton before Michael last call.I hope Mercedes will never have ever againe succes in f1 and maybe soon enought they will leave F1 againe and never comeback.pice of sheat team.in 3 years they waren’t good enought to make and realibe and fast car.with all the money and that dream team costa,brawn,SCHUMACHER.Brawn made an Champion team in 1 year by himself.There at merc are to manny people who talk to mutch and do nothing.I hope sometime in the future will be born Schumacher GP with Schumacher team Principal and driver and brawn technical director.

  • Speedo

    Will there be an exodus in TOTO from Mercedes. Cry Wolff and no one to save the Mercedes perhaps.

  • Speedo

    Was Lewis aware of the changes that were to take place. Did the old goat Lauda tell him what was in the offing. Lewis was looking forward to working with Ross Brawn and I hope the musch respected Brawn stays. The two of them will definitely put the Mercedes up there just as Brawn did with Schumi at Ferrari.