F1 team principals: How long has each team boss been in charge?

Jamie Woodhouse
Laurent Mekies will become the newest of the F1 team principals with AlphaTauri.

Laurent Mekies will become the newest of the F1 team principals with AlphaTauri.

There are a couple of new F1 team bosses in town for 2024, so which of the teams have the most experienced bosses?

Last year saw almost as much movement on the team bosses’ front as there was in the driver market, with several bosses walking away or being replaced. For 2024, retirements and oustings have resulted in some more new names.

 

So, let’s take a look at all of Formula 1’s team bosses, and how long they have each held their current posts.

Christian Horner (Red Bull) – Date of appointment: January 2005

Having retired from racing at the age of only 25, Horner started pursuing a career in management, buying a stake in the Arden International team which has enjoyed plenty of success in the junior racing scene.

But as Horner looked for a route into Formula 1, Red Bull gave him that opportunity by appointing him team principal of their new outfit at the start of 2005, following their purchase of Jaguar.

Horner has remained in charge ever since, the team having won six Constructors’ Championships in that time, plus seven Drivers’ titles courtesy of Sebastian Vettel (four) and Max Verstappen (three).

Toto Wolff (Mercedes) – Date of appointment: January 2013

Having made his entrance into Formula 1 as a co-owner of the Williams team, Wolff went on to buy a stake in the Mercedes outfit too. He left Williams in January of 2013, albeit remaining a co-owner at the time, to take over as executive director at Mercedes.

Building on the foundations laid by Ross Brawn, Wolff oversaw Mercedes’ rampage through the sport as they claimed eight Constructors’ Championships in a row between 2014-2021, plus seven consecutive Drivers’ Championships from 2014-2020. It was a streak of the likes Formula 1 had not seen before.

 

Mike Krack (Aston Martin) – Date of appointment: January 2022

Now we skip to January of 2022 with Aston Martin’s appointment of Krack, the Luxembourg native brought into the fold following the departure of former team boss Otmar Szafnauer.

Formerly the head of BMW’s motorsport operation, Krack is tasked with realising the goal of Aston Martin’s owner Lawrence Stroll, who wants to see the team fighting at the very front of the Formula 1 grid in the coming years.

Frederic Vasseur (Ferrari) – Date of appointment: December 2022

Onto the most recent appointments now which started with Vasseur, who bid farewell to Alfa Romeo to take over as Ferrari principal, Mattia Binotto announcing that he would resign from the role at the end of 2022.

A constant in the world of Formula 1 since 2016, Vasseur’s appointment makes him Ferrari’s first non-Italian team boss since 2007, at which time Vasseur’s fellow Frenchman Jean Todt was preparing to hand over the reins to Stefano Domenicali.

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Andrea Stella (McLaren) – Date of appointment: December 2022

After it was revealed that Andreas Seidl would become the new CEO of Alfa Romeo, McLaren quickly confirmed the promotion of Stella from racing director to team principal.

It marked the first time that Stella had held a team principal role in Formula 1.

James Vowles (Williams) – Date of appointment: January 2023

It was the announcement of Capito’s Williams departure which served as the initial shock in the team boss ‘silly season’, the confirmation that he and Williams’ technical director FX Demaison were both leaving had not been expected.

The team would move to appoint Vowles, who left his role as Mercedes’ strategy chief to become a team principal for the first time with Williams, effective as of February 20th.

Alessandro Alunni Bravi (Sauber) – Date of appointment: January 2023

When it was confirmed that former team boss Fred Vasseur was swapping Alfa Romeo for Ferrari, the team was quick to enlist the services of Seidl, but as their CEO, not team principal.

In January 2023, the team confirmed the new appointment, albeit giving their new signing an unusual job title.

Alessandro Alunni Bravi began as Alfa Romeo’s ‘team representative’ in 2023, taking on the duties of the team principal but without that official title.

Alunni Bravi is the Managing Director of the Sauber Group and has held his position since 2017.

Bruno Famin (Alpine) – Date of appointment: July 2023

Bruno Famin took on interim duties as Alpine’s team principal after the sudden departure of Otmar Szafnauer, with the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix announced as his last weekend with the team.

Famin was appointed as vice president of Alpine’s Motorsports division just a fortnight beforehand, and he has set about appointing a full-time replacement for Szafnauer and sporting director Alan Permane as the team made sweeping changes behind the scenes.

Laurent Mekies (AlphaTauri) – Date of appointment: December 2023

Another of the F1 team principals to be in his first such role, Laurent Mekies made the move from Ferrari as racing director to replace the long-serving Franz Tost at the end of 2023, following Tost’s retirement.

Mekies only becomes Red Bull’s junior team’s second team principal as a result, after Tost had been with them since their formation in 2005, but it actually marks a return to the Faenza-based team for Mekies, who formerly worked there as a race engineer in their days as Minardi.

Having served as Ferrari’s deputy team principal alongside his duties as racing director, he makes the step up for 2024.

Recently replaced team bosses:

Guenther Steiner (Haas) – Date of appointment: April 2014. Date of departure: January 2024

Former Jaguar team principal and Red Bull technical operations director Steiner returned to the Formula 1 scene with Haas, putting the key foundations in place to secure a spot on the grid for the team.

Appointed Haas team principal in April 2014, Steiner was already hard at work interviewing potential staff members and building relationships with Dallara and Ferrari, who after Haas joined the grid in 2016, continue to play pivotal roles in the operation of the team.

Steiner became the ‘rock star’ team boss in Formula 1 so to speak, known for his lack of a filter, which even with the media rarely stops him from speaking his mind.

Steiner was replaced as team boss at Haas in January 2024 as Gene Haas elected for a change of direction after finishing last in the 2023 Constructors’ Championship.

Franz Tost (AlphaTauri) – Date of Appointment: 2005. Date of departure: December 2023

The Austrian team boss was appointed by Dietrich Mateschitz to lead his second Red Bull team, then known as Toro Rosso (Italian for Red Bull), after buying the former Minardi squad.

Tost would stay in this role for almost two decades, departing in December 2023 after taking the decision to retire as he approached 70 years old. Tost oversaw Red Bull’s very first F1 victory, which came with Toro Rosso when Sebastian Vettel won the 2008 Italian Grand Prix.

Red Bull’s most successful drivers, Vettel and now Max Verstappen, both benefitted from Tost’s wisdom during their formative years in the sport, with him playing a key role in the Red Bull organisation during his long career at Faenza. He has been replaced by Laurent Mekies for 2024.

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