Mercedes' Toto Wolff thinks F1 teams need more than one boss

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff believes the day of Formula 1 teams having a single boss are now over

Mercedes' Toto Wolff thinks F1 teams need more than one boss

Wolff played an instrumental role in overhauling the running of the Mercedes operation, with previous team principal Ross Brawn being replaced by a joint-management structure.

He is in charge of commercial and sporting matters, while Paddy Lowe takes control of more technical matters.

Wolff believes that the system is much better adapted to the expanded demands placed on teams nowadays.

"We will not repeat the mistakes of the past," Wolff told AUTOSPORT.

"The structure should not at all be diluted by what we have defined before as a team principal role. I have a very strong opinion on that.

"By giving someone a mega technical role to then represent the company, and interact with key stakeholders - like the FIA, FOM, big sponsors, and the Daimler board - you dilute his effort.

"One of the key things is to place people in roles depending on their skills and competence - and make sure they stay in their field of competence.

"You can develop people but that is very dangerous - just look at the Peter Principle. A technical director being promoted to a team principal is not necessarily right.

"Today's F1 teams are not the organisations they were 10 or even five years ago.

"You need to place the people where they perform best and then give them everything they need to perform best."

Wolff's view on splitting the management roles to ensure that everyone is focusing on areas where they are strong was essential for Mercedes to make a step forward.

He also thinks it allowed the team to not get unsettled when Brawn decided to step down at the end of last season.

"The transition was pretty seamless," explained Wolff. "For Ross it was difficult to accept that the role is changing, because he only came back to F1 to be the single point of reference, as he called it.

"But in a team of 800 staff, with 400 in Brixworth, there isn't a single point of reference anymore.

"Yes, there is responsibility to one individual at the end, but everyone needs to work in their field of competence.

"And Paddy was always made clear from the beginning that this is how we want to position it and this happened without any problems."


shares
comments
McLaren-Honda F1 partnership has to dominate - Ron Dennis

Previous article

McLaren-Honda F1 partnership has to dominate - Ron Dennis

Next article

Ex-Toro Rosso F1 driver Vergne joins Ferrari as test driver

Ex-Toro Rosso F1 driver Vergne joins Ferrari as test driver
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Susie Wolff
Teams Mercedes
Author Jonathan Noble
Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021