Mercedes’ newest recruit Toto Wolff has revealed that he will be based at the team’s Brackley headquarters.
Now a team shareholder and officially called executive director, 41-year-old Austrian Wolff is in essence replacing Norbert Haug, Mercedes’ long-time motor sport vice-president.
“These are very large shoes to fill,” he said in an interview with Austrian broadcaster ORF. “[Haug] did a lot of things extremely well.
“It has not gone as expected last year and now we have to figure out what happened,” said Wolff. “But Norbert certainly was not working on the car.
“Anyway, I think it is important to be on site. I hope I do a good job in England,” he added.
Niki Lauda, the team’s chairman, will also be in Brackley this week, but the triple world champion will not be based in the UK full-time.
Wolff explained: “It is important that there is someone on site who understands the English mentality.”
Also still a Williams shareholder and co-owner of Mercedes’ DTM company HWA, Wolff has bought 30 per cent of the Brackley based team.
“I would really like to say [how much I paid for the shares], but I have signed something that obliges me to secrecy,” said Wolff.
“Niki and I are partners, we therefore carry some of the risk, which was important for Mercedes. We have a big responsibility and I am very proud to own a company together with Mercedes – how many people can say that?
“I am responsible for business operations and therefore Brackley, Niki is chairman of the company – so [that includes] the Formula One team and the F1 engine company.
“[Lauda] has no operational role, but he is of great help with his valuable contacts and know-how.
“Ross Brawn is responsible for the technical side,” added Wolff.
Subbed by AJN.