Mercedes are set to become the first team to win seven Formula One constructors’ titles in a row on Sunday but success is taking a toll.
Toto Wolff says he would like to find a younger successor to takeover from his current role as Mercedes F1 team principal before he steps away from the position.
The Austrian is weighing up whether to continue in his role as team principal which he has held since 2013 during a “moment of reflection” about his career with his current deal at Mercedes set to expire at the end of the year.
Wolff has repeatedly stressed that he will continue at Mercedes in some capacity but has indicated that he could relinquish some of his responsibilities and not attend every race in the future.
F1 is planning a 23-round calendar for 2021 and is hoping to return to some form of normality next season despite a recent rise in coronavirus cases across Western Europe.
Wolff admitted the current F1 season is “taking a toll” on all personnel involved in the sport and acknowledged that would only increase with an expanded calendar.
“The truth is it’s taking a toll on all of us and I’ve always been of the opinion that you should never go from very good to good, because then somebody else should take the baton and run,” Wolff said.
“I still feel I can make a contribution, I actually enjoy the race weekends a lot, and I’ve come to enjoy them more since lockdown and I just need to think how I would like to structure the team going forward.
“Like we’ve done in the past in the technical department when we had a great handover of responsibilities whilst keeping the know how and the senior leadership in the company while also not creating a bottleneck for the young talent to come up, this is something which I find very interesting and I am looking forward into the next few years.
“It would very much make me proud to see a team principal coming up, taking over from me, and doing a better job than I could have done at that time. This is a really interesting project for me but I don’t feel that I would let the team down.
“I’m a shareholder and I will stay with the team – that is what we’ve agreed with Daimler – but maybe then in another function. Whether it is CEO or chairman we haven’t figured out, but Daimler has very much given me the choice.
“But before I transition into a new role, I need to make sure that somebody else is doing the 23 races and I can enjoy myself in front of a Zoom screen.”
Asked if the talent is currently available and when he would expect such a transition period to take place, Wolff replied: “I’ve spent quite some time thinking about it and also involving the leadership within MGP and we haven’t identified the structure for the future.
“So I can’t tell you if it’s a year, two or three, but the main thing is not me having had the toll of the racing because I enjoy the competition. And as long as I enjoy the competition I think I can contribute to the team’s success.
“But whilst enjoying myself I also need to make sure that there is a transition sometime in the future and I don’t know when that is because I haven’t identified the right person yet.”
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THE NEXT RACE 2021
|02:00 - 03:30||Free practice 1|
|06:00 - 07:30||Free practice 2|
|04:00 - 05:00||Free practice 3|
|07:00 - 07:18||Qualifying|
|06:10 - 08:10||Race|