Will the Prancing Horse rise?
Monza 2014
Italian Grand Prix
Mercedes confirms Nick Fry to step down as CEO: Toto Wolff takes the helm
News
XPB.cc
Posted By: James Allen  |  22 Mar 2013   |  11:25 am GMT  |  40 comments

It has been F1′s worst kept secret since the arrival of Toto Wolff as a shareholder and executive director of Mercedes F1 team, today it was confirmed – Nick Fry is to step down as CEO of the the team. He will remain affiliated to the team as a consultant until at least the end of 2014.

This is another step in the transition from the management team which oversaw the Brawn GP success of 2009 and the early years of Mercedes, after the team was sold to the German constructor ahead of the 2010 season.

Ross Brawn remains as team principal, for the moment, but has observed that he is maintaining a review of his position and will decide on his long term future once he sees how the changes at the team work out. There is clearly a lot of change at the team; things have gone quiet on the subject of Paddy Lowe’s role. But he has already relinquished his role as Technical Director at McLaren and is thought to be on his way to Mercedes in time for the 2014 season.

Brawn is a technical-based team principal who likes to leave the running of the business and commercial aspects to others, hence the long partnership with Fry.

Wolff will now assume those responsibilities at the F1 team’s Brackley headquarters at the same time as managing the Mercedez-Benz motorsport programme.

Fry told the JA on F1 podcast earlier this month that he was “confident” he would be staying on in some capacity and in his statement he says,

“I believe that MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS offers the best sponsorship proposition in Formula One and I look forward to continuing to assist the team and its partners over the coming years.”

Wolff meanwhile suggests that Fry will perform a role in the commercial department, working with sponsors and helping acquire new sponsors,
“We will work hard to retain our loyal partners while also attracting new names to the sport in the future,” he said. “I am pleased that Nick will remain close to the team to support us in achieving these targets.”

Featured News
MORE FROM JA ON F1...
Share This:
Posted by:
Category:
40 Comments
  1. Andrew Carter says:

    I wonder, is Wolff taking on too much? As Mercedes Motorsport boss he’s also responsible for the DTM, F3 and SLS GT3 programs. Thats a lot of work for one man.

    1. James Allen says:

      He delegates a lot of that stuff. He’ll do 50% of the DTM races.

      F1 is the focus, got to get that right

    2. Kay says:

      Wasn’t Haug the same? Saw no problems with that.

      1. Andrew Carter says:

        Haug wasn’t particularly hands on for F1 or GT’s.

  2. MR says:

    Not sure that he got much right at Williams?

  3. goferet says:

    I now understand what Mercedes’ company moto (”It’s all or nothing”) actually means.

    Yes this team doesn’t do things have baked and when they say, they’re cleaning house >>> they really mean it.

    Now anybody and everybody that was responsible for the team’s unsuccessful years from Haug to Fry have to head for the exist.

    Unfortunately this means Brawn too won’t be spared especially so when he said he would leave if Lowe joined the team.

    Yes, if this were to happen, it would be a blow to Lewis for he would have joined the team based on lies though it has to be said sometimes new blood is what is needed to breath new life into a unsuccessful enterprise.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      “though it has to be said sometimes new blood is what is needed to breath new life into a unsuccessful enterprise.”

      Definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome – Albert Einstein

      1. User007 says:

        …ignoring quantum physics and complexity at the same time.

      2. CHXUNDA says:

        Insanity is replacing Ross Brawn with Paddy Lowe as Team Principal

    2. ‘Based on lies’ ? maybe when Lauda had his chat with Lewis he laid out all Mercs plans,Lauda in Haug out, Lowe in Brawn out, Wolff in Fry out , no Merc engines for McLaren in 2014, allowed to wear his jeans in the paddock, and of course ‘access all area’s for his dog ! etc etc, all this being the reason Lewis decided to join ?

      1. Random 79 says:

        You might be right, but more likely he was just disgruntled with McLaren and Mercedes offered him a wad of cash. Not a difficult decision to make :)

      2. Riz says:

        nodding! :)

    3. Quade says:

      There could be some continuity for Lewis if Brawn leaves, he’d have an old team mate in Paddy Lowe to work with.
      With 9 WDC’s to his name though, Brawn is an F1 megalithe that will take some shifting. That man is great, anything can be said about the decapitated Merc exec, but not Brawn.

      1. Analysis and insght is the quality everyone appreciates from JAonf1. Would be really interested to read an analysis of exactly what Wolf-man has in his kit that is rsulting in these changes at Merc. So far there’s been a lot of speculation but what is the defining element that is driving the bus?

        The observation about Wolf at Williams certainly needs closure and the quote from Einstein (above) defining insanity does have a ring to it. Is it something more (substance?)than simply ‘good ol’ boys’ pulling things together in a circle of buddie?

  4. clyde says:

    The way he is going about it he and Lauda wont get it right for sure ….

  5. Anne says:

    I don´t think he will remain as consultant for a long time. McLaren needs someone like him and they could offer him a higher paid and ranked role there

    1. jonno says:

      Have you forgotten Fry is supposed to be a sponsorship expert, yet when he was running the Honda team, they couldn’t find a sponsor. That failure must have helped Honda to decide to leave F1, which oddly, made Fry a rich man.

    2. Serrated_Edge says:

      Last thing Mclaren need is Fry!

  6. jonno says:

    Fry will be leaving F1 a very rich man, having contributed little or nothing to the sport.

    Amazing.

    1. RA109 says:

      I feel the same way. (Except he’s STILL not leaving – clinging to more paychecks now as a “consultant!”) In a sense you have to admire the man…

    2. Truth or Lies says:

      In the right place at the right time, that’s for sure.

      But in fairness he had to get himself into the right position in the first place, so maybe it’s a little more than luck.

      But life turns on a dime, had the 2009 Brawn been a lemon Nick Fry would have left F1 4 or so years ago with very empty pockets.

    3. Monktonnik says:

      Well he persuaded Brawn to come back to F1 which led to some success.

    4. Pete_Nepal says:

      Totally agree. One of the worst CEOs in my humble opinion. Couldn’t’ get sponsors for honda and had to draw the earth on the cars….WHAT????!!!! crazy idea…

  7. Steve J says:

    Would love to see Brawn go to McLaren. Can’t see it happening. But they do need to fill a number of holes having lost Paddy Lowe, Vodafone, Hamilton, probably Merc engines – and earlier Pat Fry too.

  8. Kay says:

    Since Fry got into F1 through David Richards, maybe he can go back to Prodrive?

  9. Onko says:

    Mr Allen.
    Is there any relation between Nick Fry and
    Pat Fry at Ferrari?.
    Thank you.

  10. SuperSi says:

    No surprises there. Mercedes are so predictable. Next Brawn will be standing down. You get the impression that the people running the show arent exactly happy with the current staff.

  11. Andy says:

    From the small amount I have seen of him, he never impressed me. Considering he is CEO, he has been conspicuous by his apparent absence.

    1. monsterFG says:

      Agree now I just wants to add Who is Toto Wolf??, what are his credentials. Never heard of him before and all of a suden his taking over everything (soon it will be one man operation) and it remind’s me of a time when Berlusconi came to power in Italy out of nowhere same here, let’s hope he isn’t like Berlusconi (mafia and all that). If they do replace Brawn it’s gonna be big mistake, don’t forget Brawn is genius but tie his hand’s and nothing will happen. They allready made mistake by leting Schumi go, if they wanted to make a championship winning car then Rosberg should have been shown the door at least Hamilton could have learned from Schumi few tricks that aren’t in the book’s and before anyone start banging about Rosberg being good answer one question why he needed 100+ races to win just one, anyway Toto and Lauda together to me seem like Mercedes is going to commit suicide big time unless they get next years car right which I doubt cause Germans operate differently also they mind set up is different so good luck to Hamilton but I still don’t who the hell is Toto Wolf!!!

  12. Random 79 says:

    ‘Ross Brawn remains as team principal, for the moment’

    Sound ominous and completely on the money.

    My understanding is that Brawn wanted to get things sorted before he retired; now it’s looking like Wolff is doing it for him.

    Question is: If Brawn leaves, who replaces him?

    1. JustAFan says:

      Paddy Lowe.

      1. Random 79 says:

        Maybe…but I have a sneaky suspicion that Toto would like the job…

      2. CHXUNDA says:

        Seriously? I hope i am in a nightmare and will wake up soon and find out this is not a possibility!

  13. Lee says:

    For apparent F1 fans, some of you people amaze me with your apparent inability to understand things, worse still, there are people within the Mercedes set-up who can’t get their heads around this either.

    It’s easy to change the day to day management of the team, it’s easy to tinker with the commercial imperatives for the team, Mercedes have clearly done this thus far.

    What isn’t quite do easy is to change the technical direction the team had taken over the last few years, there hasn’t been a double defuser moment, there hasn’t been a game changing technical innovation so suggesting that Brawn will simply be replaced just isn’t credible because the team will have to write off another two or three years while the new direction beds in. Throw in a rule change next year too next year and Brawn walking now, without even Lowe to replace him, would be suicidal for the team.

    All I’ve seen evidence of is that Mercedes appear to be looking at a organizational change to support an established technical direction, any changes to that technical structure will be evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

    As an aside, Mercedes strike me as just another Jaguar, another Lauda ‘success.’

  14. Youngslinger says:

    His commercial contacts must be great, otherwise why keep him? He has contributed a great deal but behind the scenes, sponsorship is not easy in these financially difficult times. For his many detractors, remember everyone has to play their own part, if he hadn’t, he would have not lasted in such a competitive environment.

    1. Rich C says:

      Just a face-saving move, negotiated as part of the “deal.”

      It’ll make easing him out easier and probably replaces the ever-popular ‘gardening leave.’

  15. Rich C says:

    Ok, all this musical chairs routine is getting confusing.

    No more words! Can I just see an org chart? You know, with boxes and lines and names and stuff. An actual honest-to-god chart showing all this nonsense.

    I’m a simple man, just draw me a diagram.

  16. Riz says:

    Fry was a toast (or perhaps fried) a long while ago!

  17. RJC says:

    He is as much an expert on Sponsorship acquisition as Gordon Bown is an economist. Totally over promoted, out of his depth and with little if no knowledge of closing deals, making pitches and working alongside backers. Anybody remember the ‘Earth Car’…..backed by XIX Management and Honda. What a disaster.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Top Tags
SEARCH News
JA ON F1 In association with...
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer