A week ago, several rumors and reports surfaced regarding a potential exit for Mercedes from F1. Furthermore, many rumors hinted at team principal Toto Wolff stepping down as team principal of the Brackley outfit. Yesterday, Wolff clarified that he wouldn’t be leaving the team as long he’s driven by “personal motivation”. More importantly, he quashed rumors of Mercedes leaving Formula 1.
The rumors spread to such an extent, that Mercedes had to issue an official statement, denying the same. But these reports aren’t completely improbable, considering the series of events leading up to the rumors and Wolff’s own remarks.
Toto Wolff’s contract with Mercedes expires at the end of this season. The Austrian hasn’t officially announced a renewal but he has hinted at staying on for the short term.
A few months back, several reports talked about the Austrian having a possible rift with Daimler head (Mercedes’ parent group) Ola Kallenius. Reportedly, Wolff wasn’t getting along with the higherups in Stuttgart. Wolff cleared the air over his future at the team but his response was cryptic and lacked a firm resolve.
Following this, Wolff invested in Aston Martin and purchased a minority stake in the British manufacturer. His financial venture resulted in widespread speculation, as there were earlier reports of Toto Wolff teaming up with Lawrence Stroll to takeover Mercedes.
As a result, the rumors that surfaced last week, while too good to be true, didn’t seem illogical. Now, Wolff confirmed his short-term future with the team and opened up on Mercedes’ future.
Speaking to German reporters, Wolff said:
“Formula 1 is solid, we have the support. The advertising value is enormous and is also valued. So that is not up for debate at the moment. Today the value is definitely there,”
The Austrian also talked about his recent investment at Aston Martin and his involvement with Mercedes.
“The purchase of the shares is only to contribute to the relaunch of a historic brand – he said – I will remain the Mercedes team principal and it will be so until at the level of personal motivations I will be able to make a decisional impact “
All eyes are now on Mercedes to make the next move.