Nico Rosberg delivers Toto Wolff verdict amid Mercedes shake-up and uncertainty

Mercedes’ backroom staff underwent a major change over the winter.

Having won eight constructors’ championship titles in a row over the last decade, Mercedes have remained incredibly consistent behind closed doors, with their staff and driver lineups remaining very similar.

In recent years some changes have begun to be made however, with chief technical official James Allison having move to work on the INEOS Team UK Britannia America’s Cup sailing outfit back in 2021.

This left current technical director Mike Elliott with the task of picking up where Allison left off and with the failures of the W13 and W14 being obvious, Elliott currently finds himself under pressure.

Mercedes’ former strategic director James Vowles also departed the team over the winter, with the Brit making a move to Williams to replace Jost Capito as their team principal.

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Vowles had been with Mercedes ever since they entered Formula 1, leaving the strategic team working below him with big shoes to fill this season.

While many have criticised Mercedes for allowing such key members of staff to depart in recent years, former Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has suggested that current team principal Toto Wolff specialising in succession.

“Well, one of Toto’s greatest strengths is the succession planning part of it, and it started very, very early,” said the German.

“It started even in 2014,’15,’16.”

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“Let’s remember also, the switch with Paddy Lowe at the time, Paddy moving out, another person coming in and bringing another fresh set of dynamics and making further progress, you know, and that’s always been a great strength of Toto.”

Rosberg does not believe that Mercedes’ current struggles are a result of this shakeup behind the scenes, instead suggesting that the team have misunderstood the major regulation changes which came into effect at the start of last season.

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“So I don’t think that’s the issue at the moment. A lot of fresh talent has taken over from the older guard within the team – very, very talented people who I know from back then,” he explained.

“I think it’s just a general challenge that they haven’t really understood the new regulations entirely yet and what needs to be done to be fast.”

With technical director Mike Elliott currently under fire due to the W14’s performance, it has been rumoured the James Allison has returned to the team to oversee the next batch of upgrades.