Toto Wolff lifts lid on Mercedes future plans with next successor admission made

Thomas Maher
Toto Wolff, Mercedes, 2024 Monaco Grand Prix.

Toto Wolff says a potential successor hasn't yet been identified by himself and Mercedes.

Toto Wolff says he and Mercedes haven’t yet figured out who might succeed him in his role as team boss when he wants to take a step back.

Wolff has been in charge of Mercedes’ F1 squad as team principal and CEO over the last decade, alongside his role as head of Mercedes’ global motorsport programme, and has given thought to a succession plan for the team.

Toto Wolff: The day will come but not yet

Wolff has turned 52 years old this year and has previously spoken about taking a step back from the frontline of leading the F1 team with an eye on not attending every race throughout the extremely long calendars that have evolved in recent years.

Over the last 12 months, it appeared a succession plan had been put in place as Jerome d’Ambrosio was identified as a possible successor to Wolff and had been taken under the wing of the Austrian.

But, with d’Ambrosio choosing to return to Europe for personal reasons, he left Mercedes earlier this year and has been signed by Ferrari as deputy team boss – he’ll start work with the Scuderia in October this year.

As a result, Wolff – who owns 33 percent of the F1 team – and Mercedes are back to square one and, while identifying a successor isn’t hugely pressing at this moment in time, the Austrian has said the day will come when that person becomes apparent.

“I have had it in the past where suddenly you have that moment where you think there is somebody that could do this better,” Wolff told the Press Assocation.

“Whether that is because they have more energy, more intelligence, more knowledge, or more compassion.

“That day will come but, jointly [with INEOS and Daimler, Mercedes co-owners], we have not identified who the next person will be.”

Despite the travails of the last few seasons, Wolff said he has no desire to leave his post any time soon.

“I still love it,” he said.

“Maybe one day I wake up and I don’t love it. There might be a stone falling on my head and I am not the team principal anymore. But this is the destiny I am choosing with my co-shareholders.”

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Having signed a new three-year deal to remain as team boss of the F1 team, Wolff said he is capable of introspection to ensure he is the right person to lead the F1 team and that he isn’t likely to sell his stake.

“I have always been very self-critical and introspective,” he said.

“Is this what I am good at? Am I working in something that I understand and I feel I can contribute?

“I ask myself that question all the time, for 30 years and the decision I have taken is that I am a co-owner of this business and I am going to stay a co-owner of this business, whether I am team principal or CEO or chairman.

“I have signed a new three-year contract and I am going to be the most permanent unless I die, but maybe in various roles in the top management.”

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