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Wolff: Team boss position is outdated

Monday 3rd February 2014

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Wolff: Team boss position is outdated

Wolff: Team boss position is outdated

Toto Wolff says the position of team principal in Formula One is an "outdated mind set" that no longer has a place in the sport.

With Ross Brawn walking away from Mercedes at the end of last season, the Brackley-based outfit was left without a team boss.

Instead, Wolff took the position of executive director in charge of business while Paddy Lowe has the role of overseeing the technical side.

Merc, though, are not the only team without a team principal this year with McLaren opting to install Eric Boullier as their new Racing Director who will report to the CEO of McLaren Racing.

And, according to Wolff, this is the way forward for all F1 teams.

"That position is a thing of the past," the Austrian told the official F1 website. "The structure we have decided to implement is one of clear competencies and skills within the management.

"Paddy's skills are clearly on the technical and racing side, and my mind set is more on the commercial and business side. But the main focus is not on how we divide the work, it is on the fact that we work together as a team to combine our skills.

"I would say it is like any other major corporation: there is not that one guy on the board who is making all the decisions - it is divided by competency.

He added: "You don't have the equivalent of a team principal in any other sport, let alone companies. Look at football: you have a trainer, then you have a team manager, and then you have the man who is looking after the commercial side.

"That team principal position comes from the team founders - these iconic men who founded the teams: Frank Williams, Ken Tyrrell and even Ron Dennis, who were running every aspect of their teams.

"But these were teams with 100 to 200 people maximum and that was a size manageable for a single individual, as the whole sport was not as professionally organised as it is today. You might say that the team principal is a legacy of the 'grass roots' era of Formula One."

Pressed then as to whether he would be the 'man to sit at the team principals' meetings', Wolff said: "Here you have it: it shows the slightly outdated mind set. For example, it is my duty to represent the team and Mercedes-Benz in the Strategy Group and with the sport's main stakeholders."

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