Wolff took on the role as Venturi team principal just prior to last season’s season finale in New York, and now, as she embarks on her first full season in charge, she explained to eRacing Magazine why it’s time for people to stop ‘underestimating’ what the Monegasque team can achieve.
“I didn’t underestimate the enormity of this job, but I think what people forget, I watched my husband [Toto Wolff] first-hand win four world titles in Formula 1, so I was very well prepared for what I had to do in this position.
“I watched him face the challenges he faced, I learned first hand what was going to be expected of me in this position, so I don’t think from that perspective I came in blind. I knew what I was taking on, I knew that it was going to be complex, I knew that I had to stand on my own two feet and find my own management style, but ultimately the people at Venturi are fantastic and that’s what makes Venturi what it is.”
Having spent the off-season identifying her new team’s strengths and weaknesses, Wolff says that the talent she has found backs up her decision to take on the role and that it can improve on its seventh place finish in last season’s Formula E teams’ championship.
“I joined very late and was really only in my role for New York, and that was much more in an observing position to see how the team function, where I had to make my priorities and where I had to strengthen the team, where are our weaknesses were etc. I think we have huge potential here, and that was one of the reasons I was so keen to join the team.
“I think people have probably underestimated Venturi in the past, but I certainly saw what was possible in this team and that’s why I agreed to come here to take on this role.
“It’s up to us in season five to show that we’ve made a step forward, to show that we’re not here to make up the numbers.”
With Venturi being one of the smaller teams on the grid, Wolf dismisses suggestions that the influx of manufacturers makes it harder for them to stay competitive, providing certain key elements such as cost control are kept in check.
“We’re at the cutting edge of the electronic revolution that’s happening within the automotive industry, so I think the level of interest in Formula E is positive for all of us.
“In order to maintain a competitive edge within this Formula E paddock, teams will need to raise their game, but that’s competition and that’s what racing’s about. As long as cost control stays at a reasonable level.
“We don’t want to enter a spending war, we as Venturi are not a manufacturer, but I have absolute belief that I can win a race if I do everything right and do a good enough job. I don’t want it to become a situation that without spending a lot of money I cannot be competitive, but I don’t get that feeling with Formula E.”
Wolff also explained why she’s so excited to be pairing her former Williams F1 teammate Felipe Massa with the returning Edoardo Mortara.
“When I arrived at the team, we were in the process of finishing off the contract with Felipe, so I knew what one half of my drive lineup was.
“I knew with [Massa] in one seat, the second seat had to be filled with someone with Formula E experience, and someone who was willing to be a team player.
“Edo [Mortara] is someone who I’ve known since the beginning of his DTM days, and I’ve always rated him very highly. I absolutely believe that the relationship between [he and Massa] will be one of the driving forces to help progress the changes within Venturi, and just having seen them working together so far it’s all that I could have wished for.”
Image Credit: Formula E
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