Wolff set to skip 'a few races' during record 2023 season


Toto Wolff says he won't be sitting at his command post in Mercedes' garage at a few races in 2023 in order to "survive" next year's grueling campaign.

Last month, the FIA confirmed F1's 24-round schedule for next season – the greatest run of races in the sport's history and a stint that will begin in Bahrain in early March and conclude in late November in Abu Dhabi.

The traveling burden on team personnel will thus surpass previous seasons and will prove challenging for each team.

Wolff will have the luxury of being able to miss the flyaway rounds of his choice, but the Austrian says Mercedes is working on solutions, like a possible rotation schedule, to ensure that every member of its race squad gets a break.


"I will start to skip a few races," he said in an interview with PA.

"The whole team needs to look at it. It is not sustainable for anyone to do 24 races. The drivers have to, but we start on Monday in the office and go through until the end of the week.

"We need to find a solution, and I think the race team will skip a few races every year in order to survive."

Wolff said his responsibilities at the helm of his team on race weekends can be transferred to another member of Mercedes' top brass.

But while the Austrian won't be physically present on site, he will oversee the action from his command post back at the team's base in Brackley.

"There are a few individuals that can take over some of my tasks," he said. "Not physically being at the race meeting doesn’t mean that I am not at the race.

"I have a full intercom setup. There is a race support room at the factory, and I will be part of every single debriefing. I just won’t be there physically."

Wolff had initially planned to travel back to Europe after last weekend's Singapore Grand Prix and pass up on Suzuka.

But F1's current budget cap intrigue and Wednesday's release by the FIA of its audit into each team's 2021 accounts has prompted the Mercedes driver to consider a trip to Japan after all.

Nevertheless, should Wolff decide not to attend next weekend's race, it would mark only the second F1 event missed by the Austrian since 2013

His previous absence from the paddock occurred at the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos in 2019.

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