Wolff set to miss Japanese GP to undergo surgery

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Toto Wolff won’t be standing post at this month’s Japanese Grand Prix, the Mercedes team boss remaining in Europe where he will undergo knee surgery.

Wolff will reportedly submit to the medical procedure on September 20, or three days after next week’s Singapore Grand Prix.

According to Speedcafe, the surgery will involve repairing an anterior cruciate ligament in the Austrian’s left knee that was damaged several years ago.

The Mercedes F1 team boss and co-owner suggested that the intervention might encourage him to also miss next month’s Qatar Grand Prix given that he will be walking on crutches for several weeks.

Wolff’s physical tribulations also took a hit during F1’s summer break last month when the 51-year-old tumbled head over heels while riding his mountain bike in Austria, a spill that required his left elbow to be set in a cast for several weeks.

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Since taking the helm of the Mercedes squad in 2013, Wolff has only missed three races during his tenure, the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix and last year’s races at Interlagos and at Suzuka.

In Japan, Wolff will be replaced on Mercedes’ command post by Jerome d’Ambroiso who joined the Brackley squad earlier this year as its driver development director.

Since the start of the 2023 season, d’Ambrosio has embedded with the Mercedes team and stood next to Wolff during every session on race weekends, virtually assuming the role of assistant team manager.

"When I am absent on a race weekend, Jerome will replace me," the Austrian said last month.

"It is true that in 11 years it has only happened three times, but it is a situation that we have to anticipate.

"Now, he has to gain credibility within the team and in the paddock, he still has time, but in case I can’t be there, he will be in my place."

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