Wolff: Position of a Formula 1 Team Principal is a thing of the past

Toto Wolff  with former Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn

Toto Wolff with former Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn

Formula 1 teams no longer need a traditional principal at the helm because the sport has moved on, according to Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff.

“That position is a thing of the past,” said the Austrian, who has shared executive responsibilities at the Mercedes team with Paddy Lowe since the departure of former Team Principal Ross Brawn at the end of last year.

While Wolff takes care of business, Lowe oversees the technical side.

“You don’t have the equivalent of a Team Principal in any other sport, let alone companies,” Wolff told the official F1 website on Friday, saying the role was a legacy of the past.

“Look at football: you have a trainer, then you have a team manager and then you have the man who is looking after the commercial side.

F1 team principals gather for a Pirelli photoshoot during the 2011 season

F1 team principals gather for a Pirelli photoshoot during the 2011 season

“That Team Principal position comes from the team founders – those iconic men who founded the teams: Frank Williams, Ken Tyrrell and even Ron Dennis, who were running every aspect of their teams.”

Dennis, who was principal of McLaren from 1982 to 2009, has recently regained control of that team but is not expected to appoint a Team Principal to replace previous incumbent Martin Whitmarsh.

Instead, Frenchman Eric Boullier has been brought in to fill the newly-created role of Racing Director, reporting to a chief executive officer under Group Chairman Dennis.

“The times where one person decided over politics, shareholder issues, organisation management and actual racing don’t exist any longer,” said Wolff.

“We believe that our management structure is the right answer to the needs of a modern F1 team.” (Reuters)

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  • torque

    Please stop opening your mouth Toto, your becoming the new Villeneuve.

  • Hugo

    With each quote, this guy is proving what a complete moron he is.

    Can’t he just do whatever it is that he does at Mercedes and STFU?

  • haha

    @ hugo and torque, I actually saw the interview on sky and it was the journalist that put these words in his mouth. But Toto didn’t comment directly on the assumption the journalist made, he never mentioned those words himself. And Paddy Lowe took over Ross’ job, so merc is not without a team director.

  • Real Stoner

    How convenient for Toto to say this, after he deposed the Greatest Team Principal of the Modern Era™.

    Frankly, I don’t buy it (and neither should you).

  • Hugo

    Well then, GrandPrix247 should do a better job at reporting whatever has been said, and what hasn’t.

  • Creepy Neighbor

    Huh the Wolff howls again!!!! Go back in the Den and take a nap!

  • Dr. Azlan

    You can name it Principal or CEO or whatever, but basically you need someone who is the contact point in any team.

    If the FIA or Bernie needs to talk to Mercedes who will that person be?

  • TGS

    At least he’s clarified the traditional role of a team principal for newcomers to the sport like me. I thought it was just a race day position.