Toto Wolff says he ‘wouldn’t be ashamed’ to leave Mercedes

Toto Wolff has been Mercedes' team principal since 2013, just before the turbo-hybrid era began.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has admitted that he “wouldn’t be ashamed” to leave the Silver Arrows and appoint somebody else as team boss, should he be told by people at Brackley that he’s “not contributing”.

After almost dominating Formula 1 for a decade, the last 12 months have been unbelievably difficult for Wolff and for Mercedes, who’ve seen their status as the strongest team on the grid diminish.

Wolff led the Germans on the greatest title-winning run the sport has ever seen from 2014-2021, where they claimed eight consecutive Constructors’ Championships and seven consecutive Drivers’ Championships.

Mercedes mastered the first eight years of the turbo-hybrid era; however, the new aerodynamic regulations have seen the Silver Arrows fall backwards.

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After eight years of superiority, they slumped to third in the standings last season, whilst as it stands, they’re set to do battle for the same position this campaign.

The Brackley-based team made a mess of the new regs and are now playing the world’s hardest game of catch up, given that Red Bull are continuing to improve.

There was hope that Mercedes would enter 2023 as an improved team and would be right on the back of the Austrians, something which categorically hasn’t happened.

Instead, they’ve fallen further behind Red Bull and are now set to introduce a new concept to the W14, something which quite simply has to work for Germans.

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If a new concept can’t get Mercedes closer to the front then perhaps more internal decisions will be made, in regard to the team’s leadership.

Wolff doesn’t see that happening just yet, though, and is confident that he “can make my contribution” to Mercedes but that leaving the Silver Arrows could “one day” become an option if performances don’t improve.

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“We’ve been through all the ups and downs and there’s not a millimetre of doubt,” Wolff said.

“There’s so much support from them to get us back on track. We couldn’t ask for better support.

“I really enjoy being the team leader of this team. I think I can make my contribution. But if one day I come to that conclusion – or if people close to me tell me I’m not contributing – then I’ll consider passing the baton to someone else. I wouldn’t be ashamed of that.”