Toto Wolff started out in motorsport as an aspiring Formula Ford driver and enjoyed success in GT classes during the 2000s. However, there is no doubt that his talents are better suited to the board room than the race track, and they have elevated him to one of the top jobs in Formula One.
His route to the top started in earnest in 1998 when he founded the investment company Marchfifteen, which he followed up with Marchsixteen in 2004, focusing on strategic investments in medium-size companies. Through his businesses he became involved in HWA AG, which develops and races Mercedes cars in DTM as well as supplying Mercedes engines to Formula 3. He remains on the board of HWA and his success with the company made him a go-to man when the Mercedes board decided to shake up its Formula One operation at the end of 2012.
His first major involvement in F1 came when he bought a 15% share of Williams in 2009 and by July 2012 he was named as an executive director of the team. However, it wasn't long before the Mercedes offer came along and it proved too good to resist.
In January 2013 Wolff purchased 30% of Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd and became an executive director, with Niki Lauda buying 10% at the same time and becoming non-executive chairman. Mercedes went into the 2013 season with Wolff, Lauda and Ross Brawn forming an awkward triumvirate of power, while Lewis Hamilton joined the team to partner Nico Rosberg. By this time, the foundations of Mercedes' 2014 success had already been firmly laid, but Wolff was keen to add another boss to the team's already top-heavy management structure with the appointment of Paddy Lowe from McLaren as executive director (technical).
With elbow room running out around the board room table, Brawn, who had sold the team to Mercedes in 2010, stepped down from his position. Wolff assumed control and the changing face of Mercedes was complete.
A year of domination followed, but Wolff still faced big challenges. The relationship between Rosberg and Hamilton soon turned sour, meaning rules needed to be laid down to prevent the tarnishing of the silver arrows' success. Wolff also faced political challenges within the sport over costs and engines, but managed to protect Mercedes' position while maintaining a positive image in the media.