According to the latest reports, Toto Wolff is stepping down as team principal of Mercedes AMG Petronas. As unbelievable as it sounds, the Austrian is allegedly expected to give up his role as team boss at the Brackley outfit. According to Motorsport-total.com, Wolff will announce his resignation before the start of the season. However, he may continue as a team principal in 2020.
If these rumors do turn out true, it shouldn’t be very surprising as several reports are doing the rounds of a rift between Wolff and Daimler. Allegedly, Wolff and Daimler boss Ola Kallenius don’t see eye to eye. Many believed this was a cause for concern and Wolff stepping down could be a result of that.
Wolff recently hinted that he was staying with Mercedes for the short term but things may be worse than they appear. However, Wolff will allegedly continue to work for the team, but not in a team principal capacity. Wolff’s decision will have a major impact not only on The future of Mercedes as a team but also on the 2021 driver market.
With Wolff allegedly leaving, Hamilton now faces a difficult future at the Brackley outfit. He could end up renewing his contract. But with a new boss and an unfamiliar environment, Lewis could be in a spot of bother. In fact, Hamilton and Wolff share a strong enough bond that could see Lewis maybe even turning down Mercedes if Toto is headed elsewhere.
Wolff’s resignation also raises many questions on Mercedes’ future driver lineup. Several rumors suggested the German team had pressure from the higherups in Stuttgart. Apparently, Daimler is pushing for Sebastian Vettel to join the team in 2021. Could Vettel make a shock switch to the Silver Arrows after all?
Toto leaving Mercedes would be a major shock, which has several repercussions that could rock the sport to its very fabric. But the report states that Wolff may continue to operate in an advisory role of sorts, possibly with the supervisory board. Allegedly, Wolff is retaining his 30 percent stake in the team.
As team principal, Wolff has led Mercedes from the front to every single Championship in the turbo-hybrid era. Could this really be his final season as a team boss?