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F1 team principals are a thing of the past

Mercedes recent managerial re-structure was widely reported as the reason behind why the team lost team principal Ross Brawn.

As Mercedes re-structured placing Toto Wolff as director of the commercial side of Mercedes AMG, with Paddy Lowe director of the technical operation, Ross Brawn's role of team principal became redundant.

As the year progressed Mercedes appeared to change their mind in squeezing Brawn out of the picture and discussions continued right until the end of the 2013 Formula One season.

In the end however Brawn decided to walk away from both the team and Formula One.

But despite losing Brawn, one of the best Formula One minds in the sport, Mercedes stand by the necessity of changing their set-up, a model that McLaren have now began to build themselves.

'That position [of team principal] is a thing of the past, 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. Wolff told

'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.'

Wolff believes the structure of the teams have failed to evolve with the sport.

As Formula One had grown over the decades and expanded as sport, the teams have grown in stature.

Technological advances have also meant larger factories, bigger budgets and larger staff members.

The Mercedes team employ 500 people alone and that's not including an additional 400 who work on the Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains.

That's 500 people working solely on the factory Mercedes outfit and another 400 working to supply McLaren, Force India and Williams for engines and powertrains next season.

'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 organized as it is today.

'The times when one person decided over politics, shareholder issues, organization management and actual racing doesn't exist any longer,'

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday February 4 2014

Time: 10:00AM


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