Ex-F1 racer turned pundit Martin Brundle is astounded by the business acumen of Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.
The Austrian investor had got his foot in the Formula 1 door before his Mercedes days, that being via investing in the Williams outfit. The team’s most recent win came courtesy of Pastor Maldonado at the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix, the year Wolff was named executive director of Williams F1.
But in 2013 Wolff moved on to Mercedes, becoming executive director of the team and buying a 30% stake.
And from there the Austrian investor has overseen a whole new level of success at the head of the Silver Arrows – the team have now collected the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships for the past seven seasons.
Following the conclusion of the 2020 season, Wolff signed a new three-year deal to remain team principal, while he also became equal owner of the team alongside Daimler and INEOS.
This success certainly hasn’t happened by accident Brundle assured, saying Wolff just knows something about business and doing it well.
“He is undoubtedly a serious entrepreneur,” the Sky F1 pundit is quoted by Motorsport-Total.com.
“He just understands something about business and money.”
In fact, Brundle has never seen anyone “who has come into Formula One and created so much or generated so much power and made them money. I’ve never seen anything like it, it’s extraordinary.”
Summed up, Wolff is an “entrepreneurial racing driver”.
“Toto is this in extreme form. I mean, you can only be impressed by what he has done,” Brundle added.
“What Toto did is just unbelievable. He has taken what he has inherited from Ross and the gang to an even higher level. If you could transfer that to other industries, it would be unbelievable.”
Wolff now also owns part of the British car manufacturer Aston Martin, and thanks to Lawrence Stroll, who also owns shares in the company, this iconic name will return to the grid for 2021 after a rebranding of Stroll’s Racing Point team.
Aston Martin have quite the challenge on their hands to reel in the likes of Mercedes, who in 2020 produced arguably the greatest challenger in their history in the form of the W11.
Of course the fact that it won 14 of the 17 races in 2020 did detract from the entertainment value at times, but Brundle says the might of that W11 must be respected and celebrated.
“We should celebrate their excellence, right? I’ve never seen a car stuck on the road like this,” he said.
“I’d love to do a lap with it. We have to remember in our sport that there were times when Williams, McLaren, Ferrari, Benetton dominated – Red Bull, of course.”
Brundle does though understand that “we want to see racing, not a sport where it looks like it’s a done deal before.”