Why Wolff nearly turned down Mercedes

First published in Sport

FORMER Williams executive director Toto Wolff has revealed he almost turned down the chance to become head of motorsport at Mercedes.

Wolff quit the Grove-based F1 outfit last month to move into the Mercedes hot seat as the replacement for Norbert Haug, despite being tipped as the successor to team owner Sir Frank Williams.

Wolff considered long and hard before making a final decision on his future.

In the end, the 41-year-old Austrian’s three-year stint at Williams came to an amicable end – much to his relief.

“I was fully committed to Williams,” Wolff said.

“But then, when the Mercedes opportunity came up, it meant not only being involved with the Formula 1 team and running it, but also taking over Norbert Haug’s legacy of 22 years as a motorsport director.

“I said to myself ‘this is an opportunity that only comes along every 20 years’.

“I gave myself one week to see how I felt and after the third day I almost decided to stay at Williams. But then the opportunity is so huge.”

* Britain’s Max Chilton admits Marussia’s all-rookie line-up for 2013 could face difficulties.

Chilton’s teammate in the Banbury-built cars is Luiz Razia, both men graduates from the GP2 Series.

“It is not ideal, and we will sometimes have a hard time, but we wouldn’t be in F1 if we weren’t capable,” he said.

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