Jon Wilde is a motorsport journalist with aspirations of finding a way into the business world of the Formula 1 elite. With more than 10 years of experience in strategic procurement and corporate strategy, Jon brings a business-minded philosophy to motorsport reporting and partnership development. Here is his unique take on the Fantasy Formula 1 team. Enjoy!
Jean Todt. Not the President of the FIA Jean Todt, but the Napoleonic team principle of Scuderia Ferrari. The man who defined the superteam construct, a Frenchman coming into an Italian team with the guile to say the team should hire a German driver, take guidance from a Brit and empower a South African to design the car. The Todt Ferrari era left other Team Principles seeming almost archaic in their approach. He moved the sport forward through being one of the first to acknowledge the true power of a team. Jean Todt understood the mythology of Ferrari. He used it to reengineer their relevance on the Formula 1 grid. Manipulating the FIA to create a Ferrari veto on any future regulation, something that has come back to bite him in his current role! Jean didn’t bring success to Scuderia Ferrari, he defined domination.
The Stewart SF3. With only one win to its name the SF3 may seem like a bit of an odd ball choice but hear me out. The SF3 represents an incredible accomplishment: Stewart Racing in only 3 seasons went from a green field in Milton Keynes to a race winner. From a commercial perspective the SF3 represents true business success. In Stewart Racing, Jackie Stewart and his son Paul pulled off the impossible in the world of Formula 1. They walked away from team ownership in profit, selling it to Ford who rebranded the team as Jaguar. Whilst the team under it’s British Racing Green form were never able to emulate the success of the SF3, it should not be forgotten that the original Stewart Racing team dream went on to become Red Bull Racing.
Aryton Senna is the driver that first bought me to Formula 1, I found myself drawn to his personality as much as driving. I found his ruthless self belief fascinating, to me he was the epitome of what a racing driver should be. The other driver in my team would have to be Lewis Hamilton, I doubt the two of them would get through a free practice session without declaring all-out war, but putting them in a car slightly behind front running pace would be a joy to watch. They would bring out the very best and the very worst in each other. The winner would be the fans. The loser – the composites department.
Adrian Newey, no questions about it. It’s hard to look past a man of his success. I love that despite every modern development in motorsport design, he still has an old school approach to finding 21st century solutions. Give him the bare bones of a Stewart Racing SF3 and a healthy supply of energy drinks and we all know what he will achieve.
The Wild(e) card: the social media team
In the world of instant reaction where anyone and everyone has the means to get their voice heard, a Formula 1 team’s social media department has become the face of the team. The stand out performers in this new element to a team has to be Mercedes AMG Petronas. Engaging with fans at every level, showing humour and humility whilst remaining mindful of the brand they represent. The SM team at Mercedes have been had their work cut out for them over the past 12 months, and yet they always come back smiling. Connecting with fans should be at the core of any Formula 1 team, and the Mercedes dominate the field.
The team owner
In my own fantasy Formula 1 team there can be only one team owner. Me.