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Wolff, Lauda to take Mercedes F1 stake
21 January 2013
Toto Wolff's move from Williams to Mercedes will see the Austrian take a financial stake in the Brackley-based team as well as inheriting the role of executive director.
With Williams having already confirmed Wolff's exit, Mercedes announced the details of his new position at the head of its motorsport arm, revealing that it was part of Daimler's plan to reorganise its F1 activities.
The parent company has signed a letter of intent with Wolff, who it describes as an 'investor and motorsport manager', confirming that the Austrian will acquire a significant minority interest in Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd and will also head that company as its executive director. Wolff will join Ross Brawn and Niki Lauda to complete the management team heading up the F1 operation, with the three-time world champion also taking a stake in the company.
"As an entrepreneur, investor and motorsport manager, Toto Wolff has proven that this sport runs in his blood [but], at the same time, he is also well aware of the economic necessities of the business,” Daimler chairman Dr Dieter Zetsche explained, “With [him], we have gained for our F1 team not only an experienced motorsport specialist, but also a longstanding enthusiast of the Mercedes-Benz brand.
“Together with him and Niki Lauda, we will further develop our motorsport activities and guide our Silver Arrows into the next era."
As well as his F1 responsibilities, Wolff will take over the complete coordination of all Mercedes-Benz motorsport activities, including its flagship DTM involvement and other interests in F3 and beyond.
"Mercedes is one of the most important participants in motorsport worldwide, and I am not only a big fan, but also a longstanding friend and enthusiast of the brand,” the Austrian commented, “I am looking forward to the challenge and, along with preparing for a successful racing season, also want to focus on the targeted promotion of new talent.
"I am leaving Williams on good terms and I will miss the team and friends I have made there. I'd also like to wish Frank and the whole of Williams the best of luck for the future.”
Wolff will retain his 19 per cent stake in the Williams F1 operation, and wife Susie is expected to remain on the Grove team's development squad. Sources claim he is in line for 30 per cent stake in Mercedes' F1 operation, while Lauda takes a ten per cent involvement.
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