Toto Wolff has revealed he opted to stay on as Mercedes team principal as he did not believe there was a worthy successor.
Over the closing months of the season, Wolff suggested on a few occasions that the extended 'break' due to the Covid-19 pandemic that allowed him a more normal life had caused him to re-evaluate his future.
The Austrian had commented he was looking to dilute his role, as well as assessing who could step in to take on his position.
Instead, Wolff last week signed a new three-year contract to continue as team principal, as well as purchasing an extra three per cent shareholding in the F1 team to become an equal partner alongside Daimler, under chairman Ola Källenius, and INEOS, the chemicals giant run by billionaire entrepreneur Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
"For me, this year was very important," said Wolff. "The first half of the year, with not going to the overseas races, allowed me to reflect a lot on the future.
"I never envisaged leaving the team, from a shareholding point of view, but I'd always said that as a team principal you have a certain shelf life, you need to contribute.
"If that was ever the case that I felt there was somebody who could do a better job then I would hand the baton over. This is not yet the case."
Wolff believes his position as team principal, one he has described as "very peculiar", is demanding and covers numerous bases, which is why the search will take some time.
"You need to cover the racing side as well as the commercial and political side, and that's why we've agreed that I'm staying on in the role that I enjoy in being team principal," added Wolff.
"But for the future of the team, and the sustainability and growth of the team, from my perspective it is about looking into the future, who eventually could take over from me as team principal one day, and then me transitioning into a more corporate role as a chief executive officer, or executive chairman.
"When that will happen, I don't know, but Jim, Ola and I are in agreement that it's my duty to define who could do this role in the future.
"It's actually a total alignment of interests between the three of us. We wouldn't want to have somebody running the team that is not efficient and successful."
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