Bernie Ecclestone Suspects Diminishing Authority for Toto Wolff at Mercedes F1 After Abu Dhabi GP Saga

Published 12/24/2021, 10:35 AM EST
SPA, BELGIUM – AUGUST 22: F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone looks on in the paddock during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 22, 2015 in Spa, Belgium. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)


Although he has long departed from his role at F1, Former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has still been around as an onlooker and doesn’t shy away from giving his opinions. Notably, he suggested that the Silver Arrows star Lewis Hamilton might just bow out of his seat at F1.

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Now, Ecclestone expressed his reservations about Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and his role in the team.

The last lap fiasco in Abu Dhabi has brought many dark clouds over the Brackley team’s future course of action. Ecclestone is of the opinion that Wolff might not enjoy the same authority in the team like he used to do.

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Notably, Wolff acquired a 30% stake in the Brackley-based team, alongside co-shareholder Niki Lauda back in 2013. The stake is now 33.33% as of 2021.

IMOLA, ITALY – OCTOBER 30: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff walk in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on October 30, 2020 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Lesser authority in the hands of Toto Wolff?

Wolff has been at the helm of the Silver Arrows team since 2013. The team has witnessed unprecedented success, winning 7 drivers’ championships and 8 constructors’ titles. However, the latest one slipped out of their hands following a few controversial decisions in the Abu Dhabi GP.

In a recent interview with Blick, the former F1 boss made an open-ended opinion about Wolff’s with the team. He believes that this loss might put Mercedes’ boss in the line of fire.

“I don’t know if Toto Wolff is still in the same strong situation as before with a third of the team shares. But we will find out at some point,” said the Briton as reported by Blick.

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Hamilton could only lose in 2022: Ecclestone

While many are still rooting for Hamilton to win his 8th title, fellow Briton Ecclestone is not so convinced with this idea. He believes that new regulations have made next years’ grid highly unpredictable. With Max Verstappen getting a taste of the world title, Bernie expects him to come even stronger next year.

“Lewis could only lose in 2022. Who knows how the new cars will reposition the field. With George Russell, he would get an ambitious teammate, of whom I am not as convinced as many experts,” said the Briton skeptically.

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“And then we don’t forget Verstappen. With him, Hamilton has finally found an equal opponent after many years.”

As it stands, Wolff will remain at the helm of the Silver Arrows team for the next season as well. However, there are certainly dark clouds over the team with Hamilton’s potential exit from the sport. Do chip in with your suggestions on the same.

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Rituraj Tripathi

273 articles

Rituraj Tripathi is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. A true lover of speed, he is big fan of Lewis Hamilton and finds a future world champion in Lando Norris. Rituraj eagerly looks forward to the paddock moving to the Circuit de Monaco, and he finds Portier corner as the most exciting part of the track.

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