Meet The People Holding The F1 Teams Together

Who are they? What do they do?

Are you wondering who the current F1 team principals are? Could you tell me what their roles entail? Read on to find out.

What does an F1 team principal do?
The highly qualified team managers of the F1 teams have incredible roles and work to do. Each team manager is the public face of their team. From endless press interviews, press conferences, to managing the team itself. Politicians and sports representatives represent their teams, for example, meeting with government officials about sport matters, and meeting with other teams and race officials. We can all agree that they carry a heavy burden as managing a team isn't an easy task as the team's reputation lies in your hands. 

People management has also been a crucial task for managers. Managers have to make sure that all duties are delegated to the right personnel. Firstly, they have to make sure that the most suitable person is hired for the relative job. The racers, engineers, mechanics, and team strategists on Formula 1 teams are highly qualified. Surely all of these people know more about their special areas of interest than the manager. The manager oversees everything, therefore cannot know everything in depth. All that the manager has to do is make sure that they are provided with the right equipment for work. They should also be given the right structure to work in and given enough leeway to carry out their duties effectively.

Toto Wolff has been with Mercedes since 2013 and has won 114 races since joining. He was born on January 12, 1972. Additionally, he holds shares. He is a qualified racer who once competed. He is responsible for all Mercedes-Benz motorsport activities. Not only that, but he diverted his focus to sports car racing after a stint in Formula Ford in Austria and Germany in the early 90s. Toto got married to Susie Wolff in 2011. Susie is a former race driver and also CEO of the Venturi Racing Formula E team.


Christian Horner has been with Red Bull since 2005. Since then, he has won 84 games. He was born on the 16th of November 1973. He married Spice Girl Geri Halliwell in 2015. Like Toto, he is a former driver. He founded the Arden team, which makes him one of the last owner-drivers to have competed at a high level in single-seater. He, however, had to make a life-changing decision….and by the end of a few years, 1998 to be precise, he had decided that his true passion lay behind the wheel. Immediately, he left the pit wall. He quit driving at the age of 25 and seven years later, he graduated from F3000. He is the man famous for his ‘restless leg’ during tense races.


Mattia Binotto of Ferrari has had 7 wins since he joined the team in 1995. He was born on November 3, 1969. He was born in Lausanne and studied mechanical engineering there. In 1995, he joined the Formula 1 test team as a test engine engineer. He became Chief Technical Officer (CTO) in the summer of 2016. In 2019, he became team principal. He is married to Sabina Binotto. Nevertheless, he resigned from the team last December. 


Otmar Szafnauer from Alpine hasn't won anything since last year. Born on August 13, 1964, he is primarily a businessman by trade and training. He is a man of vision, as can be seen when he joined Alpine and pledged that the team would fight for the world championship within 100 races. In other words, he meant before the end of 2026. We're all eagerly waiting for that one. In 1998, he left Ford Motor Company to become Operations Director at British American Racing. 


So far, Andreas Seidl has won 1 race with McLaren since 2019. He was born on January 6, 1976. He comes from Passau and is an engineer. His experience can be traced back to the Porsche LMP1 sports race program. He was once Head of Track Operations from 2007 to 2009. However, he is set to leave the team and is poised to join Sauber.


Franz Tost has been with Alpha Tauri since 2005 and has had 2 wins. He was born on January 20, 1956. His name has been adorned with the title of team principal since 2005. Similarly to many others, he is also a former racer who later turned to operations. As a young child, he looked up to Jochen Rindt, and decided to follow his lead when the opportunity presented itself in his early 20s. He competed in quite a number of Austrian junior categories for six years, winning the Formula Ford 1600 title in 1983. His very first Formula 1 role was with Williams, where he stayed for a total of five years before joining Red Bull.


Since joining Alfa Romeo in 2017, Frederic Vasseur has not won any races. He is a French motorsports enthusiast born on May 28, 1968. He studied engineering and aeronautics at ESTACA, an engineering school in France. Later on in 1996, he founded his own team, ASM, which later changed to ART. In addition to that, Vasseur oversaw Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 3 Euro series and GP2 titles in the mid-2000s. In 2016, he became Renault's team principal. The role, however, lasted only for a year. In 2017, he took on the team principal role again in the Sauber team. Later on during the course of his leadership, the team changed its name to Alfa Romeo and he still holds the reins.


Despite being with Haas since 2014, Gunther Steiner has not won a race. Steiner is a German-speaking veteran who was born on April 7, 1965. He comes from the Alpine region. He is married to Gertraud Steiner. Furthermore, he managed the Ford World Rally Team in 2000 and 2001. He came into F1 as managing director at Jaguar, which only lasted for a couple of seasons. He became Technical Operations Director at Red Bull, before he relocated to North Carolina to work on Red Bull’s motorsport operations in America. 


Mike Krack joined Aston Martin last year and has no wins so far. He was born on March 18, 1972. Krack quietly built up enough experience in multiple disciplines to attract the attention of headhunters looking for somebody to replace Otmar Szafnauer at Aston Martin earlier last year. He was already a top engineer at BMW Sauber when Sebastian Vettel began his Formula 1 career there in 2006-07, so accepting the post at Vettel’s current team represented something of a reunion for the pair. During the intervening years, Krack had a stint in Formula 3, worked on the Porsche LMP1 project and then rose to oversee BMW’s entire motorsport portfolio from 2014 to 2021. 


Despite joining Williams in 2020, Jost Capito has yet to win a race. Josh has had the privilege of being involved in multiple motorsport disciplines. Therefore, that has been one of his greatest strengths. His crew won the truck class of the Paris-Dakar in 1985 in a Mercedes-Benz during his competitive years. He was once involved with Porsche's racing division and later switched to Sauber. He was into rallying too, where he played major roles for Ford and Volkswagen. This led to an unprecedented four straight World Rally Championship titles for VW from 2012-2016. Not only was he doing that, but he was also in charge of Volkswagen’s motorsport program. In the autumn of 2016, that is when he made a remarkable mark in his career when he made it to the top of the motorsport world. In 2020, Dorilton acquired the team and some time after that, the then principals, Frank and Claire Williams left the team with Capito succeeding them. However, Capito has resigned from his post prior to the 2021 season that is set to begin in a few weeks.