Posted on July 24, 2012
XPB.cc

Toto Wolff has increased his influence over the Williams F1 team by stepping up to an executive position on the board.

The Austrian, who has been a minority shareholder of the company since 2009, will “assist” Sir Frank Williams in his role as team principal.

Clearly over time he has come to gain Williams’ trust and as the company changes, with Patrick Head retiring and anointed successor Adam Parr being moved on, Wolff will understudy Williams, who is now 70 years old. One of his tasks will be to find strong partners to take the team forwards. It is over-reliant on the money from Venezuelan oil company PDVSA at present.

It is very clear when you visit the Williams team’s motorhome, that Wolff is already a central figure. Together with his wife Susie, he works the room methodically and spends a lot of time with sponsors and prospective sponsors.

Parr was the CEO of the business until his departure earlier this year. An abrasive figure, it is believed that Bernie Ecclestone was keen not to have to deal with him any longer and with Wolff also expanding his influence, Williams changed course and parted ways with the Cambridge graduate, who he had anointed as his successor.

“Toto’s new role, working closely alongside myself, is about Williams looking forward and managing the successful running of the company, ” Williams, said. “I am looking forward to our new working relationship and I have every belief that this partnership will help take Williams F1 from strength to strength.”

Toto Wolff, said: “It’s a great honour for me to be assisting and supporting Sir Frank in his role as Team Principal at Williams. I have been a shareholder in the business since 2009 and I am really looking forward to being able to take my responsibilities to a new level. I know that together we will work tirelessly to make the Group and team as successful as it can be.”

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Toto Wolff increases his influence at Williams F1 team
20 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: Antti
        Date: July 24th, 2012 @ 12:24 pm 

    I have a feeling this move also makes it more likely that Bottas will replace one of the current Williams drivers for a race seat next season.

    [Reply]


  2.   2. Posted By: Franco
        Date: July 24th, 2012 @ 1:03 pm 

    Hi James

    Do you see a pottential buy out from Toto Wolff in the coming years?

    When FW does eventually retire (not for some time I hope) Id like to think a memeber of his family would play an active role in this great team.

    Franco

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Looks like he’s lining up to take the team on in future certainly

    [Reply]


  3.   3. Posted By: JPS
        Date: July 24th, 2012 @ 1:18 pm 

    Williams has turned the corner this year so Tot so far so good.
    Now if they could only get a driver with speed and sense. Pastor only has one of those attributes and Bruno has the other.

    [Reply]

    Brandon Lee Reply:

    Two-seater for the dynamic twins,.right? They have a driver with speed and sense,Valtteri Bottas.

    [Reply]

    Bring Back Murray Reply:

    Agreed. Looks like Williams is making all the right steps to get back (or start the process of getting back) to the great team they always used to be.

    First thing they need to do is get some decent drivers.

    [Reply]


  4.   4. Posted By: goferet
        Date: July 24th, 2012 @ 1:30 pm 

    Good on Toto Wolff for scooping this promotion and hopefully through his business skills he can help the team acquire some more investors and sponsors.

    Having said that, when a company begins losing key members of it’s organization like Patrick Head & Adam Parr, this is usually a sign that there’s something inherently wrong with the team and thus you have situations were co-founders like Patrick Head liquidate their stock because they have possibly seen the writing on the wall.

    So this appointment of Toto may not necessarily be a case of Toto gaining Frank Williams trust but rather Frank Williams having no decent options left for I seem to recall Frank Williams being very keen on Adam Parr as a successor.

    So in my assessment, Williams as a team may really struggle to exist in the future more so seeing as Frank Williams is 70 years old.

    However, ending on a positive note, I wish the team success in their business ventures.

    [Reply]


  5.   5. Posted By: MISTER
        Date: July 24th, 2012 @ 1:39 pm 

    I am very happy about this. Even though he is a minority shareholder, he showed interest in the team and that shows commitment.
    I hope he will help bring more success to Williams. They deserve it.

    [Reply]


  6.   6. Posted By: Phil
        Date: July 24th, 2012 @ 2:25 pm 

    Hi James, your turn of phrase regarding Adam Parr in this article suggests that his departure may not have been as voluntary as the reports at the time implied. Any more info on this?

    [Reply]

    Graham Shevlin Reply:

    If Adam Parr’s departure from Williams was voluntary, then Charles I and Louis XVI also willingly volunteered to be executed.

    [Reply]

    Stevie Reply:

    If you get on the wrong side of Bernard Charles then you will soon be history

    [Reply]


  7.   7. Posted By: @Damien_Marquez (GrandPrixAdvisor.com)
        Date: July 24th, 2012 @ 2:56 pm 

    Interesting… I don’t recall ever seeing a reference to Adam Parr being pushed out by Williams himself.

    [Reply]


  8.   8. Posted By: KGBVD
        Date: July 24th, 2012 @ 3:06 pm 

    Is there any more details on the Parr departure? At the time it seemed like he just decided to call it a day with very odd timing, but this article makes it sound like he was pushed.

    James, which is it? Did it have something to do with the concord negotiations (too ‘abrasive’ to negotiate with)?

    [Reply]

    Merlinghnd Reply:

    I know nothing about this but I have always wondered what happened.

    A possible scenario was that Parr wanted to hold out for a better Concorde Agreement for Williams which would have rubbed Bernie up the wrong way. Bernie then went behind Parrs back to Frank Williams and cut a deal which would have completely undermined Parr and leaving him no option but to leave. Sounds like a very plausible Bernie strategy.

    I wonder what really happened and if we will ever find out??

    [Reply]

    KGBVD Reply:

    Ambushing and bludgeoning him in the back of the knees outside the team motor home also sounds like a Bernie Strategy :P

    [Reply]


  9.   9. Posted By: RR
        Date: July 24th, 2012 @ 5:20 pm 

    I find this somewhat ironic as it may possibly be the second time in history where a Williams F1 team becomes a Wolff F1 team just like 1977 and Walter Wolf.

    [Reply]


  10.   10. Posted By: andrew
        Date: July 24th, 2012 @ 6:31 pm 

    What ever happened to Sir Frank’s daughters involvement?

    [Reply]

    KGBVD Reply:

    Isn’t she heavy involved in the PR/comms side?

    [Reply]


  11.   11. Posted By: Alan Warwick
        Date: July 25th, 2012 @ 1:59 pm 

    Yes, RR, just wot I was thinking. Wolf / Wolff a coincidence or what? It didn’t turn out well last time but I wish Frank all the best.

    He has been such an integral part of F1 for so long, overcome driver tragedies as well as personal disability.

    Probably will be remembered for attitude to drivers when he was giving them the best car and they had the nerve to ask for WAGES!

    [Reply]


  12.   12. Posted By: Austin
        Date: July 26th, 2012 @ 3:42 am 

    I know nothing about this, because growing up in Colorado there is zero F1, but it is so cool learning about it.

    [Reply]

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