Is Susie Wolff the perfect F1 team principal for Williams?

With vacancies at Alfa Romeo and Williams, who could become their new team bosses for F1 2023?
 - Free Practice 3, Susie Wolff
- Free Practice 3, Susie Wolff

It’s been a crazy couple of days in F1 with a series of big announcements.

It was all started by Williams’ announcement on Monday, announcing the departures of Jost Capito and technical director FX Demaison.

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On Tuesday, Frederic Vasseur was confirmed as Ferrari’s new team boss before a shock move from Andreas Seidl to join Sauber as their CEO.

McLaren decided to promote former Ferrari engineer Andrea Stella as their team principal following Seidl’s departure.

Alfa Romeo/Audi

Mattia Binotto

After deciding to leave Ferrari at the end of November, Mattia Binotto is likely to be on nearly every team’s shortlist.

Binotto’s wide range of experience will appeal greatly to the Audi group because they will be manufacturing their own power unit from 2026.

The Italian played a key role in Ferrari’s power unit department before taking over as technical director in 2016.

Mattia Binotto (ITA) Ferrari Team Principal. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 22, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina
Mattia Binotto (ITA) Ferrari Team Principal. Formula 1 World Championship,…

As technical director, Ferrari returned to form in 2017 with an innovative, exciting package, which only lost out to Mercedes due to their superior power unit.

Binotto would be an astute signing given his wealth of experience in Ferrari’s engine department, combined with his recent experience in managing the team as a whole.

The project could also appeal to Binotto because the team is based in Switzerland, the country of his birth.

Jost Capito

Following his surprise departure from Williams, Capito could switch to Alfa Romeo.

The 64-year-old’s best years in management came during his time with Volkswagen, dominating the World Rally Championship with a hat-trick of titles.

Given his prior relationship to the Volkswagen group, which Audi are part of, it would be a sensible fit.

Capito did come out of retirement to work with Williams, so perhaps he doesn’t want to extend his working career even further with the team principal role at Alfa Romeo.

Allan McNish 

Allan McNish has been associated with Audi for the majority of his racing career.

From his days in sportscars, to running their Formula E team, McNish is an Audi man through and through.

Allan McNish (GBR) Audi Director of Motorsport Coordination. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 14, Belgian Grand Prix, Spa
Allan McNish (GBR) Audi Director of Motorsport Coordination. Formula 1…

While Audi’s influence on the team isn’t too significant at the moment, given they are still known as Alfa Romeo, they’ll be wanting to put their own people in place ahead of 2026 like they’ve done with Seidl.

McNish would be a logical choice because of his long association with the German brand, his prior experience in Formula E as a team boss.

Beat Zehnder

A stalwart of the Sauber company, Beat Zehnder has been part of the Swiss outfit since it started in 1993.

Starting off as a mechanic, he quickly moved up the ranks in the 1990s.

By 1995 he became team manager, or sporting director, as he is still known as now.

Zehnder’s wealth of experience and being embedded in the Hinwil team makes him the perfect candidate.

It’s likely Audi will want their own candidate in the role, but Zehnder would be the perfect stop-gap until then.

What about Williams?

Capito and Demaison’s departures from Grove caught everyone off guard.

It’s still unclear whether it was their own decision or the owner’s - Dorilton Capital - who may have grown frustrated by Williams’ lack of progress in 2022.

Regardless, there are very few obvious candidates to replace Capito.

One name that springs to mind is Susie Wolff.


Wolff spent a number of years at Williams as their test and reserve driver, participating in a number of FP1 sessions between 2014 and 2015.

Since then, she has held roles as team principal of the Venturi Formula E team, guiding the team to P2 in the drivers’ championship with Edo Mortara. 

Wolff moved to a CEO position after the 2020-21 Formula E season before leaving the team following Maserati’s takeover.

Her experience in both F1 and management roles makes her a suitable candidate.

Whether she’d want to commit her time to 24 races on the road is another question.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has already admitted that he will “skip a few races” during F1’s record-breaking 23-race season in order to “survive”.

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