Toto Wolff says Mercedes are "always prepared" for a Formula 1 brain-drain in losing key figures, after the departure of James Vowles to Williams. Strategy chief Vowles was appointed the new Williams team boss after nearly 20 years at Brackley in January, and follows the likes of technical director James Allison and engine guru Andy Cowell in either leaving or reducing their duties in recent years. However, Wolff does not see this so-called brain drain of talent as a negative, instead believing it shows the strength of the Mercedes operation.
"As an organisation, you have to always be prepared that you could lose members," Wolff explained to media, including RacingNews365.com. "We've had it many times where people stepped up and they leave an open position behind them or they join another team, and for me, it's only proof that we are developing and working with capable people. "There is no gap left behind and for many years we've discussed the succession planning in this area, and we've been very reliant on James's ability and we put emphasis in a few years ago on how that would continue if he would decide to do something else within Mercedes or outside. "We have 90 [people], some of whom are very senior, but are not always on the front line and some that have grown within the organisation and they have now flown the aeroplane alone in the last six months - and before that with James's supervision. "I feel very comfortable with the infrastructure going forward, and not that a big weakness has suddenly been created."