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2014-02-02 11:55

NO ROOM FOR PRINCIPALS: Mercedes Motorsport boss Toto Wolff believes 'team principals' belong on the scrapheap of F1 history. Image: AFP

LONDON, England - Formula 1 teams no longer need a traditional "principal" at the helm because the sport has moved on.

So says Mercedes Motorsport head Toto Wolff who's shared executive responsibilities at the Mercedes team with Paddy Lowe since the departure of former team principal Ross Brawn at the end of 2013.

Wolff, who takes care of business with Lowe running the technical side, said: "The position is a thing of the past. You don't have the equivalent of a team principal in any other sport, let alone companies."


He told the official F1 website on February 1 the role was a legacy of the past. "Look at football... you have a trainer, then you have a team manager and then you have the man who is looking after the commercial side. That team principal position comes from the team founders - those iconic men who founded the teams: Frank Williams, Ken Tyrrell and even Ron Dennis, who were running every aspect of their team."

Dennis, principal of McLaren from 1982-2009, recently regained control of that team but is not expected to appoint a team principal to replace previous incumbent Martin Whitmarsh. Instead, Frenchman Eric Boullier has been brought in to fill the new role of racing director, reporting to a chief executive under group chairman Dennis.

Wolff added: "The times where one person decided on politics, shareholder issues, organisation management and actual racing doesn't exist any longer. We believe our management structure is the right answer to the needs of a modern F1 team."

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