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Wolff Mercedes F1 Future Without Ownership Wolff Would Be Fired from Mercedes F1

Stuck: Without Ownership, Wolff Would Be Fired from Mercedes F1

29/03/2024

Amid speculations about his future, Toto Wolff faces a critical phase with Mercedes’ F1 performance lagging behind rivals.

Toto Wolff’s position as team principal could be at stake if he were leading another top-tier team, according to former F1 driver Hans-Joachim Stuck, who also serves as president of the German Automobile Federation.

With Mercedes’ hopes of fielding a more competitive car in 2024 dimming after three races, Wolff acknowledged in Melbourne that questions about his future were “fair.”

“I look at myself in the mirror every day regarding everything I do, so it’s a fair question. But stepping down is not what I think I need to do at the moment.”

However, Stuck, an F1 driver in the 70s and a two-time Le Mans winner in the following decade, believes that Wolff might have already been dismissed if he were at the helm of Red Bull or Ferrari.

“Mercedes simply isn’t at the level of Red Bull and Ferrari,” said the 73-year-old German.

“It’s probably an advantage for him to be a co-owner of the team (holding a 33% stake, alongside Mercedes-Benz and Ineos).”

“If it were a purely Mercedes team, I’m not sure he wouldn’t have already been replaced.”

But it’s not just Wolff’s position at Mercedes that should arguably be questioned, according to Stuck.

“To speak plainly, the chief designer should be replaced. The idea developers in development just don’t have the right approach.”

“In comparison, Ferrari is better with its engineers because they operate at a completely different level.”

And so, at this point, Stuck says Wolff needs to get the right people in place at Mercedes for new successes, asserting he is “one of the best” for the job.

“Toto Wolff himself is not responsible for the car’s potential. He was a racing driver himself and knows what’s important in this profession.”

“His job is to find the necessary levers and screws to adjust and to deploy the right people in development. Of course, he will push the developers. But he also needs to ask if the right people are at the helm. That’s the team leader’s job, and in my opinion, Wolff is one of the best. Toto is the right man for the job – and he needs to fix the issue. But it will be very difficult in the current season.”

Wolff will not be present at the upcoming Japanese GP, but he has often skipped some of the more distant overseas races in recent years.

Wolff has been very straightforward in his assessment of Mercedes’ current performance issues and stated that a change in direction might be needed in the future.

“We Austrians wear our hearts on our sleeves and speak very directly. So, I need to adjust my way of communicating to not create more pressure. But if we can’t make this second ground effect era concept work, we will certainly need to rethink things in time for 2026.”

Wolff Mercedes F1 Future. Wolff Mercedes F1 Future

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