Wheels24

F1 Merc, conservative no more

2013-03-11 12:25

The Mercedes Formula 1 team is bidding to shed its "conservative" image according to its new director and team co-owner Toto Wolff.

It has been all change at the German team; swopping Michael Schumacher with Lewis Hamilton, Norbert Haug with Wolff and Niki Lauda, and soon set to push ahead with McLaren's ex technical chief Paddy Lowe.

Wolff said: "At Mercedes, we no longer want to be so conservative. The new Mercedes (road car) models are young and sporty."

He admitted that hiring 2008 World champion Hamilton to replace 44-year-old former World champion Schumacher was a key factor.

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"Lewis not only has an immense driving talent but also a great technical understanding. He also has the right feel for the staff and how to motivate them," he said. "After the first two days of testing he knew all 50 team members at the track by name. The image of him sometimes drawn by the media does not correspond to reality."

Wolff admitted, however, that with all the changes came higher expectations.

Wolff referring to Lauda and himself said: "We have been brought in to turn the team around and if we cannot, we're gone. I'm convinced we can and the board knows what resources and time we need."

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GMM