Toto Wolff denies any influence over Williams

Photo: Glenn Dunbar/LAT for Williams F1

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says if he asked James Vowles for Williams “to become ‘mini Mercedes’, he would tell me to get lost”.

After long-time Mercedes strategy boss James Vowles was appointed as new team principal of Williams, Toto Wolff was asked if this could mean that Mercedes would have influence over the legendary British team.

“There is one thing in common [among team bosses],“ Wolff said.

“We are all in these positions to defend our standpoints and our teams, to do everything that’s in our power to prosper.

“If I were to get involved with James and ask him to become ‘mini Mercedes’, he would tell me to get lost.”

The Austrian added that, despite what some might have thought previously, Mercedes never had any influence over Williams, and their partnership was limited to Mercedes supplying engines and certain other components.

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“There’s always been this speculation that, because of the Mercedes link, that Williams was a subordinate, but none of that was true, and we never interfered in some kind of driver situation.

“We always understood the authority of team management in their own way, and that’s why James is going to do what’s good for the team, and do what’s good for James in order to bring them forward.

“He’s going to be judged on the team’s success, and if Mercedes is helpful then he will talk about it.

“And if he feels they need to have a different position, then he will stand for it,” Wolff concluded.

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