Wolff moving from Williams to Mercedes

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In the round-up: Williams executive director Toto Wolff will take over as director of motorsport at Mercedes following the departure of Norbert Haug.


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Wolff to run Mercedes motorsport (BBC)

“It is understood to be possible for Wolff to continue having a shareholding in Williams while running the Mercedes motorsport department. But he will not be able to continue in his role as the team’s executive director.”

Motor racing fuels spin-off technologies (FT, registration required)

“The single piece cockpit designed to protect a Formula One racing driver in a crash has been incorporated into the Foxhound’s design to ensure the pod, or the area where the soldiers sit, can withstand roadside bombs.”

Formula 1 teams in talks about joining electric racing series to be launched next year (This is Money)

Formula E chief executive Alejandro Agag: “When the drivers speak to their team, we will put them on speakers so you can actually hear them during the race.”

Adam Parr turns the page (Autosport, subscription required)

“I think the appropriate action [would be for] the EU should step in to stop the new [Concorde] Agreement taking effect and put in place temporary measures, interim measures, to keep everything going on a fair basis while they conduct their investigation.”


Comment of the day

Disappointment greeted the yet-to-be-confirmed reports that Timo Glock is leaving Marussia:

I feel sorry for Glock and Marussia. Glock deserves to stay in F1 but it’s neither his nor the team’s fault that he has to leave.

Marussia lost the valuable tenth place in the championship and, according to what I have read, Bernie hasn’t offered them to sign the new Concorde Agreement either so it’s no wonder if the team is short of cash.

I believe that they are clever people, who know what to do to make progress but they need the money. Shame on F1 that they have to get it by taking pay drivers.

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On this day in F1

Five years ago today Williams launched their 2008 contender in a special interim livery which included a list of names of the team’s fans.

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Keith Collantine
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30 comments on “Wolff moving from Williams to Mercedes”

  1. I said before that I suspected Wolff was an attention seeker and this confirms it. Why not stick with the team you have ownership in? Absolutely ridiculous that he can take a position with one team while holding a stake in another.

    1. Wolff helped turn Williams around. I’m surprised Mercedes didn’t pursue him sooner.

      1. Did he? Here are their championship positions in the last decade:
        2003: 2nd
        2004: 4th
        2005: 5th
        2006: 8th
        2007: 4th
        2008: 8th
        2009: 7th
        (in November 2009 Toto buys a share of the team and joins the board of directors)
        2010: 6th
        2011: 9th
        2012: 8th
        Wow. He really made a difference there :/

        1. 2012 was a massive step up from the previous years. The won a race, challenged for a podium finish on more than one occasion and were regularly qualifying in the top 10.

          It’s not Totos fault that the drivers didn’t do the car justice. Maybe in hindsight, keeping Rubens for one more year wouldn’t have been a bad idea.

          1. Indeed so, but those of a more cynical bent might connect Williams’ rapid upswing in fortunes in 2012 to Sam Michael’s departure from the team, especially given that Michael moved to take charge of McLaren’s sporting department (ie, the running of the team at races), and the result of that was that McLaren switched from shooting themselves in the foot with a pistol in 2011 to doing so with an Uzi in 2012.

          2. @ilanin

            and the result of that was that McLaren switched from shooting themselves in the foot with a pistol in 2011 to doing so with an Uzi in 2012.

            You have actually made my night! :) I think Williams just appeared to get their act together in 2012 relative to the previous year – Maldonado and Senna just masked the turnaround by crashing and being rubbish in qualifying respectively.

    2. Wolff is a shareholder with Williams but a co-owner of the HWA company which runs Mercedes DTM program.

  2. Two major news items on a Sunday?? From Bild?? Between those and the Force India rumors, F1 is going a bit nuts right now, isn’t it?

    In addition to those items probably being confirmed today, we may also see Lewis’ first day in silver (and turquoise this time) at Stuttgart. Quite a busy day ahead, then.

  3. So what does this mean for Susie?

    1. I Love the Pope
      21st January 2013, 2:48

      Replaces Brittany

    2. @scuderiavincero She is expected to take the third driver role at Mercedes. According to Bild, that is.

      1. I Love the Pope
        21st January 2013, 5:23


      2. Well, I’ll wait for an official confirmation :)

      3. I’m sure Hartley has a contract with Mercedes (although he might work on the simulator or Wolff might) and I doubt they’d hire more than a reserve driver, having seen how little they used Bird.

  4. Woha, I hope Frank got some one lined up…..I know it’s business, but I’d assume Williams is more like a family and this switch wont go down so well :(

  5. I dont get it.

    Didn’t Wolff recently take a new position with Williams? And what is so special about this guy, other than him being a businessman? Is he going to make the team faster?

    What Mercedes need are better engineers. Get rid of Aldo Costa.

    1. And what is so special about this guy, other than him being a businessman?

      I believe he is the one who spear-headed Williams’ floatation on the stock market, helped overhaul their management structure, and played an important role in their technical shake-up at the end of 2011.

      1. Wasn’t Parr doing that too though? I thought those two together got Frank to agree to much of it, personally.

        1. I’m not entirely sure what Parr was supposed to be doing, but Williams went through a very patchy period while he was running one side of the team. That’s why I tend to view his claim he was squeezed out of his position by Bernie over some difference of opiion with some degree of scepticism – his tenure at Williams co-incides with their difficulties, and the team seems to have improved once he left (that said, Sam Michael was there at the same time, too; likewise, he left Williams and their fortunes improved whilst McLaren frittered away points while he was sporting director, a position that called for him to work out how to avoid pit stop problems …).

      2. But its not like Mercedes lack the finances? However, I do agree that they need a major technical and perhaps also management overhaul, specially in design /engineering/innovation area.

        Change is a good thing, I just hope they are making the right type of changes. Fingers crossed.

    2. Sure they need good engineers and those come with good management.

  6. what if williams race with mercedes engine next years???

  7. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
    21st January 2013, 4:41

    Maybe glock just wants to go somewhere he can get into a winning car. Everyone seems to think he’s been forced out but if he has a contract for next year he’s either being paid off, (unlikely for a struggling team) or he asked to leave.

    1. Maybe glock just wants to go somewhere he can get into a winning car

      Glock’s next step is probably DTM,

  8. With Glock now leaving Formula 1 (apparently), the grid for 2013 looks very different if you look at how the experience is distributed. The five teams that finished in the top 5 of last year’s Contructors’ now employ the eight most experienced drivers on the grid: the five world champions, Massa, Webber and Rosberg. Incredibly, the most experienced driver of the bottom six teams is a 39 GP tie between Maldonado, Di Resta and Hülkenberg!

    This is pretty worrying news, as all backmarker teams feel forced to not employ experienced drivers, but they rather choose young drivers with cash (notably Williams, Caterham and now Marussia). On the other hand, it does mean that the fight for the championship will be between known quantities, the most experienced and therefore probably the ‘best’ Formula 1 drivers.

    1. It’s a difficult scenario. On one hand, we want the back-markers to be competitive, but on the other hand, we want new blood in the sport.

      The top teams *rarely* employ up-and-comers these days, except under certain circumstances (i.e. Lewis Hamilton) and it’s a far cry from a decade ago when big names like Williams (at the time) regularly gave rookies the second car before moving them on at seasons end.

    2. @andae23 – Vettel is actually the 8th most experienced at 25! A lot of F1 drivers used to ustart around that age!

  9. Marussia – Petrov seems logical. But what about Force India and Caterham? I suspect Bianchi – FI and ?? – Carerham. Senna? Vd Garde?

    1. @verstappen I’d put Senna above Van der Garde, purely because of the money situation.

  10. No one commenting about it yet, about the fact that the cockpit ued for testing was a direct derivative of military technology in the first place, and that the “bath tub” principle has been used in military vehicles before. The only thing I can think of in these circumstances, and due to the paper it is in, is that someone involved wants to try to make some money out of it somewhere….. I believe it was reported years ago that the new vehicle was put together by a team of engineers who included McLaren and some other F1 guys.

Comments are closed.