Wolff puts neck on the line for Mercedes

by Michelle Fortune , 13 February 2013

Toto Wolff accepts he will have to shoulder the blame if Mercedes fail to improve on last year's performances.

Wolff has had little input on the team's preparations for the 2013 season having only joined Mercedes in January, but in his new role as motorsports boss he is well aware of the fact that it is up to him to see that there is no repeat of last year's slump.

"It is all about having your neck on the line. As they know I have put my neck on the line they know that I have no room for failure," he told the official Formula 1 website.

"Not only have I taken a personal risk by leaving Williams - where I have enjoyed working - but there is also a financial and economic side to it.

"I could say as much as I like that I had no involvement in the 2013 car - which is actually the truth in terms of car performance - but that doesn't count.

"I have been here for two weeks but nobody cares whether I've been here one year or one week.

"I know that Mercedes' standard is to be a top team and if it is not the case then obviously it is going to be difficult to justify what I do."

Mercedes looked set to enjoy a good year after Nico Rosberg delivered the team's first Grand Prix victory in China, but there was sharp downturn in results in the latter half of the season, leaving the team questioning what went wrong.

While winning the championship is not on Wolff's agenda for 2013, he is targeting a top-four finish.

"If the team finishes in the top four and is a regular frontrunner [that would be a good year]," he added.

"I have taken up the responsibility so it is important to get a feeling for the people. Power is not the issue - understanding the structure and making the right decisions is the core.

"I will do everything it needs to make this team successful. First it is watch and listen, and then I will give my opinion and execute my opinion.

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