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.”