Motor racing-Fry to step down as Mercedes GP chief executive

March 22 Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:33am GMT

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March 22 (Reuters) - Mercedes Formula One team chief executive Nick Fry will step down at the beginning of April with Toto Wolff assuming his responsibilities and taking a greater role in day-to-day operations, Mercedes said on Friday.

Fry will remain as a consultant helping with commercial operations until at least the end of 2014, Mercedes added in a statement at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The Briton joined the team when they were known as BAR, staying through subsequent incarnations as Honda and Brawn GP - the outfit that won both championships in 2009 before being bought by Mercedes.

"I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to work with our team for the last 11 years and remain extremely proud of the fact that we took the team to its first race win and especially the double World Championship in 2009," said Fry in the statement.

"Equally important is the success of our commercial activities as we have managed to gain the support of some of the most important companies in the world, thereby building a strong foundation for the future success of the team."

Mercedes, who have welcomed 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton to their lineup alongside Germany's Nico Rosberg, have had a major management restructuring since the end of last season.

Wolff has joined as executive director and owner of a 30 percent stake, replacing the departed Norbert Haug as the man coordinating all of Mercedes' motorsport activities.

Retired Austrian triple world champion Niki Lauda has been appointed non-executive chairman with a 10 percent stake in a team whose principal remains Ross Brawn.

Paddy Lowe is expected to join from McLaren, where he was technical director, next year and is seen as an eventual successor to Brawn.

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