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Wolff plans to stay at Mercedes F1 until he is 80

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Wolff plans to stay at Mercedes F1 until he is 80

Manager and co-shareholder of Mercedes in F1 since 2013, Toto Wolff recently extended his contract as team principal of the eight-time world champion team. Interviewed as part of the book “F1 Racing Confidential” by Giles Richards, the Austrian looked at what the future could now hold for him.

“Life is full of surprises”Wolff said. “I never imagined I would be here, nor the success this team has had. Today I am 52 years old. It may seem old, but I hope there will be another 30 years with Mercedes in F1 for me. It’s important that when you pass the baton at 80, you can say: ‘It wasn’t bad. I’m happy with myself, I fulfilled the expectations I had from my life’. “

Wolff also returned to his discussions with the Mercedes board of directors after the disappointing first years following the return of the brand, as a factory team, to Grand Prix in 2010. Responsible for evaluating the activities of the team bought from Ross Brawn at the end of 2009, who had then won only one victory (the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix) in three seasons, he explained that the team did not have enough money to compete with Red Bull et Ferrari.

Toto Wolff, during his time at Williams, alongside Alex Wurz

This was in 2012, before Wolff officially joined Mercedes, when he was then executive director and minority shareholder of Williams. He became involved in F1 after combining his passion for motorsport with his career as an internet and technology investor, following his unsuccessful attempt to break through as a driver in the 1990s.

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“At Williams I run the exact same budget and expect to be in the top 6, while you have the same budget and expect to be World Champions – that’s what’s wrong,” he says he explained to the Mercedes board of directors. “IlThey were very angry, but I said, ‘Don’t shoot the messenger…'”

“So when I arrived I told Mercedes that I had to have the same budget as our main competitors, Ferrari and Red Bull. ‘I don’t guarantee that it will win us the championship, but I can guarantee that if you Deny it to us, you won’t win it.’ It was the defining moment and the board said, ‘Tell us what you need.’”

Between 2014 and 2021, Mercedes won eight constructors’ titles and seven drivers’ titles.

With Alex Kalinauckas

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