F1 team principals: How long has each team boss been in charge?

F1 team principals Christian Horner, Toto Wolff and Franz Tost Credit: Alamy
F1 team principals Christian Horner, Toto Wolff and Franz Tost Credit: Alamy

After what felt like a game of musical chairs in Formula 1, the landscape has changed quite considerably recently.

Just as we thought Formula 1 had started to calm down for the winter break, we were treated to a fresh silly season as the team principals began moving around to create a scenario where multiple teams will go into the 2023 season with a new face in charge.

The domino effect started when Mattia Binotto handed in his Ferrari resignation, clearing the way for Fred Vasseur to make his move to the Scuderia which had been heavily rumoured in the lead-up to confirmation arriving.

Of course, not every boss went looking for a new home, with several names established as long-serving individuals with their teams, while three have been there since the very formation of their respective outfits.

So, let’s take a look at all of Formula 1’s team bosses, and how long they have each held their current posts.

Christian Horner (Red Bull) – Date of appointment: January 2005

Having retired from racing at the age of only 25, Horner started pursuing a career in management, buying a stake in the Arden International team which has enjoyed plenty of success in the junior racing scene.

But as Horner looked for a route into Formula 1, Red Bull gave him that opportunity by appointing him team principal of their new outfit at the start of 2005, following their purchase of Jaguar.

Horner has remained in charge ever since, the team having won five Constructors’ Championships in that time, plus six Drivers’ titles courtesy of Sebastian Vettel (four) and Max Verstappen (two).

Franz Tost (AlphaTauri) – Date of appointment: November 2005

Another boss to have stuck with their team since the very start. Tost was appointed as team principal of Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso back in 2005, the team formed after the Austrian firm had purchased Minardi.

Tost began work from 2006 and since then has seen an array of future Red Bull and wider Formula 1 stars grow their wings with the team now known as AlphaTauri, including Verstappen, Vettel, Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo and Pierre Gasly.

Toto Wolff (Mercedes) – Date of appointment: January 2013

Having made his entrance into Formula 1 as a co-owner of the Williams team, Wolff went on to buy a stake in the Mercedes outfit too. He left Williams in January of 2013, albeit remaining a co-owner at the time, to take over as executive director at Mercedes.

Building on the foundations laid by Ross Brawn, Wolff oversaw Mercedes’ rampage through the sport as they claimed eight Constructors’ Championships in a row between 2014-2021, plus seven consecutive Drivers’ Championships from 2014-2020. It was a streak of the likes Formula 1 had not seen before.

Guenther Steiner (Haas) – Date of appointment: April 2014

Former Jaguar team principal and Red Bull technical operations director Steiner returned to the Formula 1 scene with Haas, putting the key foundations in place to secure a spot on the grid for the team.

Appointed Haas team principal in April 2014, Steiner was already hard at work interviewing potential staff members and building relationships with Dallara and Ferrari, who after Haas joined the grid in 2016, continue to play pivotal roles in the operation of the team.

Steiner has become the ‘rock star’ team boss in Formula 1 so to speak, known for his lack of a filter, which even with the media rarely stops him from speaking his mind.

Mike Krack (Aston Martin) – Date of appointment: January 2022

Now we skip to January of 2022 with Aston Martin’s appointment of Krack, the Luxembourg native brought into the fold following the departure of former team boss Otmar Szafnauer.

Formerly the head of BMW’s motorsport operation, Krack is tasked with realising the goal of Aston Martin’s owner Lawrence Stroll, who wants to see the team fighting at the very front of the Formula 1 grid in the coming years.

Otmar Szafnauer (Alpine) – Date of appointment: February 2022

Szafnauer left Aston Martin in January of 2022, saying it was not working out for him at the team with “two popes” present, referring to Martin Whitmarsh who had recently been appointed CEO.

And as had been rumoured, Szafnauer’s switch to Alpine was confirmed a month later, swapping one team with ambitions to move up the grid for another.

Frederic Vasseur (Ferrari) – Date of appointment: December 2022

Onto the most recent appointments now which started with Vasseur, who bid farewell to Alfa Romeo to take over as Ferrari principal, Mattia Binotto announcing that he would resign from the role at the end of 2022.

A constant in the world of Formula 1 since 2016, Vasseur’s appointment makes him Ferrari’s first non-Italian team boss since 2007, at which time Vasseur’s fellow Frenchman Jean Todt was preparing to hand over the reins to Stefano Domenicali.

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Andrea Stella (McLaren) – Date of appointment: December 2022

After it was revealed that Andreas Seidl would become the new CEO of Alfa Romeo, McLaren quickly confirmed the promotion of Stella from racing director to team principal.

It marked the first time that Stella had held a team principal role in Formula 1.

James Vowles (Williams) – Date of appointment: January 2023

It was the announcement of Capito’s Williams departure which served as the initial shock in team boss ‘silly season’, the confirmation that he and Williams’ technical director FX Demaison were both leaving was not one that had been expected.

And the team would move to appoint Vowles, who left his role as Mercedes’ strategy chief to become a team principal for the first time with Williams, effective as of February 20.

Alessandro Alunni Bravi (Alfa Romeo) – Date of appointment: January 2023

When it was confirmed that former team boss Fred Vasseur was swapping Alfa Romeo for Ferrari, the team were quick to enlist the services of Seidl, but as their CEO, not team principal.

In January 2023, the team confirmed the new appointment, albeit giving their new signing an unusual job title.

Alessandro Alunni Bravi will serve as Alfa Romeo’s ‘team representative’ in 2023, taking on the duties of the team principal but without that official title.

Alunni Bravi is the Managing Director of the Sauber Group, and has held his position since 2017.

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