sport

Wolff calls time on upheaval

Mercedes motorsport director Toto Wolff has expressed a desire for stability within the team following a period of upheaval.

Lewis Hamilton's first week with Mercedes in January was shrouded in intrigue as Wolff took up his new role and there were rumours team principal Ross Brawn could be ousted in favour of McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe.

Brawn insisted he would be staying in charge, whilst at McLaren the Woking-based marque opted to remove Lowe from the frontline when they unveiled their new car five days ago.

Given all the appointments made over the years as Mercedes boosted their technical team, Wolff feels it is time to now take stock and maintain the status quo.

"I've only been here for a few days, and it would be foolish to make assumptions, or take some things as read," said Wolff as pre-season testing kicked off in Jerez this week.

"I need some time to meet people, speak to people and get an overview, but what the team needs uppermost is stability.

"It's a very important season for the team, so let's keep the ball rolling at the moment and see how things develop."

As for Lowe, whose current contract expires at the end of this year, Wolff refused to be drawn, ensuring a season of speculation beckons regarding his future.

Wolff added: "It's a bit unfair to speak about others when we have only just launched the car because the group of engineers and guys we have within Mercedes have worked extremely hard.

"All the rumours about new people joining is not good at this stage, it doesn't help.

"Of course, Paddy is one of the top guys, is very well recognised, and McLaren and many other teams are going to be interested in him.

"But he's at McLaren this year, so let's get on with our job and do the best possible in 2013."

Wolff, who resigned as an executive director at Williams to take up his new role at Mercedes, also has no plans to strengthen his hand at the latter by purchasing more shares.

The Austrian, who took a 30 per cent stake in Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd, again feels it imperative there is a period of calm following the recent storm.

"I actually have a dream situation," said Wolff.

"I am part of a management team of a Silver Arrow works team, with Mercedes-Benz as the majority shareholder.

"Their aim was to have a managing partner within the organisation, taking financial responsibility and giving the team freedom.

"It is why, in my function as Mercedes-Benz motorsport director, I have moved to Brackley to be close to the team.

"I've no immediate plan to buy any more shares, I'm really happy with the way it is now.

"Mercedes has committed themselves (to F1) long term, which is very important for me, and I'm very optimistic we're going to stay with this shareholder structure for a couple of years.

"I think we've had enough change over the last 10 years, so let's look forward and work."