Wolff ready to ‘embrace the challenges’ after agreeing new Mercedes deal
Toto Wolff has spoken of his energy and determination ahead of the 2024 F1 season as he bids to get Mercedes back to winning ways after agreeing a new deal to lead the outfit.
Wolff, who has been at the helm of the Silver Arrows since 2013, is set to continue as Team Principal and CEO for at least the next three years – taking him into F1’s next era of regulations.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Telegraph, Wolff confirmed that he would be staying on following conversations with fellow team co-owners Sir Jim Ratcliffe (of Ineos) and Ola Kallenius (of Mercedes-Benz).
“I think the most important thing between the three of us is that we trust each other,” Wolff commented. “At the end of the day, as a shareholder myself, I want the best return on investment. And the best return on investment is winning.
“I’m not going to try to hang on to a position that I think somebody is going to do better than me. I make sure that I have people around who can tell me otherwise. In the end the three of us decided: ‘Let’s do it again’.”
He continued: “I’m part of this team in various functions. I’m a co-shareholder. I’m on the board. These are things which will not change whatever executive, or non-executive, role I have.
“But I feel good. The risk for me is always more bore-out than burnout. And that’s why I embrace the challenges we have today, even though they sometimes feel very, very difficult to manage.”
Wolff recently compared the challenge of returning to the top of the F1 pecking order and toppling reigning world champions Red Bull to climbing Mount Everest, saying their chances are “against the odds”.
However, with car launches and testing now just around the corner, he said: “Always believe it’s possible. You cannot start the season with an attitude of, ‘This is not going to be possible’. We saw last year with McLaren, what a huge step they made with a single upgrade.
“We’ve signed a two-year deal with Lewis [Hamilton], and we owe it to him, to George [Russell] and to all the team to give it our full attention in 2024 and 2025. I think it’s possible.”
Wolff also shared some encouraging early signs from the soon-to-be-revealed W15 – at least in the virtual world – after a conversation with simulator driver and Sky Sports F1 pundit Anthony Davidson.
“He was driving Melbourne [in the sim] and he said, ‘The car feels like a car for the first time in two years’,” Wolff revealed, before stating: “Obviously I would love this to correlate to the track but we’ve seen in the last two years that this was not always the case.”
Mercedes are looking to build on respective P3 and P2 finishes in the 2022 and 2023 constructors’ standings, having previously gone eight years unbeaten through the turbo-hybrid era.