Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has said he is searching for a suitable replacement so he can step back from “this madness.”
It has long been speculated that Wolff has been looking to walk away from his current position despite him purchasing a one-third stake in the Mercedes F1 Team in December – and the Austrian has revealed that he had asked technical director James Allison if he was interested in being his successor.
“James and I speak multiple times every single day and we are totally coordinated on the strategic direction of Mercedes Motorsport and Mercedes Grand Prix,” Wolff said.
“So, much earlier than before we decided the CTO role, it must have been a year or two ago, we discussed the future of the team principal role in Mercedes. He made it very clear it was not for him.
“Since then, obviously, I am thinking and I am looking and I am observing what is happening out there and who is doing a good job so finally I can step back from this madness.”
Earlier this month, Mercedes announced that Allison would be leaving his position as technical director to take on the newly created role of chief technical officer (CTO) in July.
Commenting on this move, Wolff described Allison as a “huge asset” and outlined how they decided that making him CTO was the right move for him and Mercedes.
“James is obviously a huge asset to the team, not only as a brilliant engineer but also as a leader. He has a good understanding and an overview of what is happening in Formula 1 beyond the technical space,” Wolff said.
“He is a sparring partner of mine when it comes down to strategic discussions, political discussions and he is getting more involved also with the other departments and racing programs that we have.
“It was almost a logical step to make him my technical twin brother. I am also the head of Mercedes Motorsport so it makes sense to have a technical director for all motorsport.
“He enjoyed the idea, so we’ve worked on that for a year.”