Toto Wolff and ex-F1 driver Jerome D'Ambrosio were spotted several times together during pre-season testing and at the beginning of the season. Many wondered what his role was in the team and whether he was part of Mercedes.
Toto Wolff has now revealed all the details; “He's looking after the young driver programme in very close cooperation with Gwen [Lagrue, Mercedes driver development advisor], who has been doing it very successfully over the last few years,” Wolff said, as quoted by crash.net “With Gwen’s team we are looking at grassroots motorsports from the early stages of go-karts, and this is where Gwen is very active, and he was the one working with James.
And now within the Brackley structure it’s Jerome who has taken that over, and he's looking at things and there's plenty of plenty of scope with what James did beyond the strategy work. So I see Jerome growing in the organisation, but at this stage, that's his area”.
Toto Wolff and Jerome D'Ambrosio
Wolff has known D'Ambrosio for many years. Toto is happy that he will have the opportunity to work with him. He emphasized that Jerome has the necessary experience and that he will be of great importance to the team.
However, it is still early whether and for how many years he will stay on the team. “I have known Jerome a long time, because back in the day when he was in Renault Driver Development, I thought about managing him,” Wolff said.
“So it's 15 or 20 years ago, and then we had a look again at him when he when he dropped out of the programme. So I've known him as a racing driver, but never from the human standpoint, and never from the managerial side.
And I think when Susie offered him the option to jump out of the cockpit into a management role, he took it with both hands and they were quite a good competitive duo, and Jerome led it into another year and finished second in the Formula E championship.
I think he has the know-how of having been a racing driver at a very high level. He was a go-karting world champion. He's been in F1, and on the other side, the skills as a manager. So where that will lead him is a question – today it’s at a very early stage.
He is just coming in in the driver development part and administrative functions. And we shall see where that goes”.
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