Each of the 10 current Formula 1 teams relies on one individual to run the show day-to-day - whether that's rallying staff on the shop floor, hiring and firing drivers and technical staff, fighting the team's corner in commercial and regulatory discussions, or facing the world's media.
The job titles might be slightly different in each case, but here's a quick-fire way to get to know each of the team principals in F1 right now.
CHRISTIAN HORNER - RED BULL
Horner is F1's longest-serving team principal, spearheading Red Bull Racing since it was founded in place of the works Jaguar team in 2005. That's 370 races and counting for someone who, at the time, was F1's youngest-ever team boss (aged 31).
Prior to his F1 career, Horner was a race-winning driver in Formula Renault and B-class Formula 3 in the UK, before founding junior single-seater team Arden, for which Horner himself raced in Formula 3000 before retiring from driving ahead of the 1999 season.
TOTO WOLFF - MERCEDES
Wolff is currently F1's most successful team principal, having overseen seven world drivers' championship wins and eight consecutive constructors' championship titles for Mercedes from 2014-21.
Wolff is also an equal co-owner of the team he runs, alongside Mercedes parent company Daimler and major sponsor INEOS (a British chemicals company).
He too was a racing driver (in Formula Ford) before becoming a business student, an investor in Williams (from 2009-16) and executive director of the Mercedes F1 team in 2013. He's effectively been Mercedes F1 team boss since Ross Brawn left at the end of that year.
FREDERIC VASSEUR - FERRARI
Fred Vasseur became Ferrari team principal ahead of the 2023 season, replacing long-serving Ferrari engineer Mattia Binotto.
Prior to that, Vasseur had stints in charge of the Sauber/Alfa Romeo F1 team (from mid-2017-2022) and Renault's works F1 team (in 2016).
Vasseur is an engineer by trade - his Spark company builds the chassis used in the FIA's all-electric Formula E championship - and also a highly successful junior single-seater team boss who has worked with multiple F1 world champions, including Lewis Hamilton.
ANDREA STELLA - McLAREN
Stella became McLaren team principal at the start of 2023, after Andreas Seidl jumped ship to Sauber/Audi. Stella made an immediate impact by restructuring McLaren's technical team.
Prior to his promotion, Stella was McLaren's racing director and has also held posts as the team's performance director (2018) and head of track operations (2015-17).
Stella was also a very successful race engineer at Ferrari, winning world championships with Michael Schumacher (2002-04) and Kimi Raikkonen (in 2007), before guiding Fernando Alonso to near-misses in 2010 and 2012.
MIKE KRACK - ASTON MARTIN
Krack became Aston Martin team principal after Otmar Szafnauer left to join Alpine at the end of the 2021 season.
He has a motorsport engineering background stretching back almost 30 years, and has held significant engineering roles in F1, sportscars, Formula 3 and the DTM.
Krack has enjoyed three separate stints at BMW - including with the BMW-Sauber F1 team that made Robert Kubica a race winner in 2008 - and also had a spell as Porsche's head of track engineering in the World Endurance Championship.
BRUNO FAMIN - ALPINE
Technically, Famin is Alpine's interim team principal but, having taken the helm following the sudden exodus of Otmar Szafnauer and Alan Permane in the summer of 2023, seems to have assumed control on a permanent basis - without much impetus to recruit a full-time replacement.
Famin joined Alpine about a month before this all kicked off, in July 2023, overseeing the French company's motorsport activities and reporting directly to new CEO Philippe Krief.
Famin's engineering background is in engines and gearboxes - useful when you need oversight of Renault's Viry F1 engine facility.
He began his career at Peugeot in 1989, rising to technical director of Peugeot Sport, and led the French manufacturer to success at Le Mans, the Dakar Rally, the Pikes Peak hillclimb and World Rallycross, before joining the FIA in 2019.
JAMES VOWLES - WILLIAMS
Vowles left a long and successful career with Mercedes' F1 team to become Williams team boss at the start of 2023, replacing Jost Capito.
In fact, this was the first time since he began his F1 career that Vowles had switched teams. He joined what was then BAR in 2001 and stayed with the Brackley-based outfit as it transitioned to Honda, then Brawn GP, then Mercedes.
Vowles developed his F1 career as a strategist, but is using his vast knowledge as latterly a key pillar of Mercedes' record-breaking F1 success in the hybrid era to lead a cultural transformation of Williams in his first team principal role.
LAURENT MEKIES - VISA CASH APP RB
Mekies takes over from F1 paddock veteran Franz Tost, who is stepping back from leading the team formerly known as AlphaTauri to become a semi-retired consultant.
Tost has stuck around to help manage the transition of power to the new leadership structure of CEO Peter Bayer (who left the FIA to take up this new role) and Mekies, who is effectively rejoining the Minardi team with which he built his F1 career.
Mekies is a qualified mechanical engineer, who began his F1 career working on Asiatech engines for Arrows in 2001 before joining Minardi as a race engineer in 2002.
When the team morphed into Toro Rosso under Red Bull's ownership Mekies became chief engineer and later head of vehicle performance, before leaving to take up a safety director role with the FIA in 2014.
He left F1's governing body - where he also enjoyed a stint as deputy race director to the late Charlie Whiting - to join Ferrari, first as sporting director (2018-20) and later as racing director (2021-23).
ALESSANDRO ALUNNI BRAVI - STAKE (SAUBER)
The team formerly known as Sauber/Alfa Romeo has a slightly odd leadership structure during its transition to becoming Audi's works F1 team in 2026.
After Fred Vasseur left to become Ferrari team boss at the end of 2022, Sauber decided to split Vasseur's former role as company CEO as well as F1 team principal.
Now, the team counts on ex-McLaren boss Andreas Seidl (left) as CEO while qualified lawyer and ex-driver manager Alunni Bravi (right) acts as 'team representative'.
Seidl is basically taking charge of the top-level infrastructure changes and transformation of Sauber into becoming Audi's F1 team in the future, while Alunni Bravi - who used to manage Robert Kubica and joined Sauber as the team's legal counsel in 2017 before becoming its managing director - oversees the day-to-day running of the team while it makes the transition.
AYAO KOMATSU - HAAS
Komatsu replaced charismatic founding Haas team boss Guenther Steiner in January 2024, after team owner Gene Haas decided not to renew Steiner's contract in pursuit of lifting the team off the bottom of the constructors' championship.
Komatsu has been with Haas since its F1 debut in 2016, serving as its head of trackside operations.
He began his F1 career with BAR-Honda in 2003 before joining the world champion Renault works team in 2006 as a tyre engineer.
Komatsu later enjoyed stints race engineering Vitaly Petrov and Romain Grosjean, helping both become F1 podium finishers. He stuck with Renault during its transition to becoming the privateer Lotus team in 2012, but left when Renault resumed ownership at the end of 2015.