21.01.13

Wolff leaves Williams for Mercedes

Austrian entrepreneur to head up Mercedes Grand Prix Limited and acquire stake in team.

Toto Wolff is to leave Williams to become executive director of Mercedes’ F1 team with the Austrian also acquiring what a team statement called a “significant minority interest” in the German outfit.

In addition to become a Mercedes Grand Prix Limited stakeholder Wolff will also take on the role of co-ordinating all of Mercedes’ motor sport activities, a post filled until recently by Norbert Haug.

"I am looking forward to the challenge and, along with preparing for a successful racing season, also want to focus on the targeted promotion of new talent.”
Toto Wolff

“Mercedes is one of the most important participants in motor sport worldwide,” said Wolff. “I am not only a big fan, but also a longstanding friend and enthusiast of the brand. I am looking forward to the challenge and, along with preparing for a successful racing season, also want to focus on the targeted promotion of new talent.”

Wolff joined Williams as a non-executive director in November in 2009 and last year cemented his position with the team by becoming executive director. The Austrian entrepreneur will now step down from his position on the Williams board with immediate effect but will not relinquish his stake in the Grove team. Sir Frank Williams thanked Wolff for his contribution to the team over the past three years.

“He was a key support to me as executive director last season, deputising at a number of races when I was unable to attend,” he said. “However, positions such as the one offered to him by Mercedes do not come around often. Toto has a long history with them and I certainly was not going to stand in the way of him accepting this once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Mercedes Grand Prix’s non-executive chairman, Niki Lauda, has also bought a stake in the team. Together with Ross Brawn, he and Wolff will now form the team’s senior management.

“As an entrepreneur, investor and motor sport manager, Toto Wolff has proven that this sport runs in his blood; at the same time, he is also well aware of the economic necessities of the business,” said Daimler chairman and Mercedes-Benz head Dieter Zetsche. “Together with him and Niki Lauda, we will further develop our motor sport activities and guide our Silver Arrows into the next era.”