Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff hopes his successor at the helm of the Brackley squad will come from within the team's own ranks.
Wolff's current management contract with Mercedes expires at the end of this year, and while the Austrian has indicated that he will likely remain with the championship winning outfit next season, he could seek to delegate part of his responsibilities to allow him to spend more time away from the race track.
Wolff admitted the current disrupted season is "taking a toll" on team personnel, and the 48-year-old doesn't foresee the burden getting lighter next year, with F1 forecasting a 23-race global schedule.
"The truth is it’s taking a toll on all of us and I’ve always been of the opinion that you should never go from very good to good, because then somebody else should take the baton and run," Wolff said at Imola on Friday.
"I still feel I can make a contribution, I actually enjoy the race weekends a lot, and I’ve come to enjoy them more since lockdown and I just need to think how I would like to structure the team going forward.
"Like we’ve done in the past in the technical department when we had a great handover of responsibilities whilst keeping the know-how and the senior leadership in the company while also not creating a bottleneck for the young talent to come up, this is something which I find very interesting and I am looking forward into the next few years.
"It would very much make me proud to see a team principal coming up, taking over from me, and doing a better job than I could have done at that time. This is a really interesting project for me but I don’t feel that I would let the team down.
"I’m a shareholder and I will stay with the team - that is what we’ve agreed with Daimler - but maybe then in another function. Whether it is CEO or chairman we haven’t figured out, but Daimler has very much given me the choice.
"But before I transition into a new role, I need to make sure that somebody else is doing the 23 races and I can enjoy myself in front of a Zoom screen."
Regarding that future transition, Wolff made clear that he had not yet identified the ideal management structure for Mercedes Grand Prix or the individual that will lead the team.
"I’ve spent quite some time thinking about it and also involving the leadership within MGP and we haven’t identified the structure for the future," he said.
"So I can’t tell you if it’s a year, two or three, but the main thing is not me having had the toll of the racing because I enjoy the competition. And as long as I enjoy the competition, I think I can contribute to the team’s success.
"But whilst enjoying myself I also need to make sure that there is a transition sometime in the future and I don’t know when that is because I haven’t identified the right person yet."
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