Toto Wolff may leave the position of Mercedes F1 team principal and take up a supervisory position like Niki Lauda as per reports coming from Germany.
Mercedes is amid a triple contract talks where the future of Wolff, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas is being decided amid COVID-19 pandemic. It is not straightforward with the involvement of principal stakeholder, Daimler AG, in the process.
While Hamilton and Bottas could opt for a shorter deal, but with Wolff, the situation could be different as a long-term stay will be desired so that there is no multiple changes at the helm of the racing team. The Austrian also holds a 30 percent stake.
Last year, Wolff and Mercedes gambled during Brazil GP, where the Austrian did not travel and James Allison headed the programme to see how they cope without him. Things did not go smooth, but it was more due to the on-track craziness than off it.
It came at a time when everyone knew his contract was up after 2020 F1 season. He is still negotiating and news from Germany – especially Auto Bild – has said that Wolff is set to leave the team principal position and take up a supervisory work at Brackley.
It sounds similar to how Lauda worked alongside Wolff. The report doesn’t adds about a replacement but pointed towards a bigger deal which involved Daimler AG and also Aston Martin, where a merger is not ruled out – even though it could be a speculation for now.
The idea in that would be for Daimler AG take in more of the shares of Aston Martin and the two operate together in F1, with Wolff and Lawrence Stroll sharing duties. This is being linked with the latest news of Tobias Moers joining the British company from Mercedes.
As of now, Racing Point is destined to become Aston Martin but things could change if Daimler AG presents a perfect deal. This may leave the Silverstone-based F1 outfit to become a junior team of the bigger brands, like Red Bull-AlphaTauri.
The report seems much clearer on Wolff stepping down, more than the latter theory of a Aston Martin-Mercedes F1 outfit, especially since the German manufacturer has been adamant that they have no intent to leave the sport, as they head towards new regs.
Even documents show Racing Point is in advanced stages of being re-branded as Aston Martin. The change for Wolff could be big for the team in terms of its drivers line-up, though, with Hamilton in a place where he can be challenged by Sebastian Vettel.
Here’s the link to the Auto Bild story: https://www.autobild.de/artikel/formel-1-hammer-um-mercedes-zukunft-16894919.html
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