Last week, the Mercedes F1 team and Daimler denied our story about a possible job change and Toto Wolff’s internal promotion. But it sounds very different from his own mouth
The waves were high last week when F1-Insider.com reported on Toto Wolff’s (48) future plans. Our announcement that he could withdraw from the operative position in the factory and on the track as a Mercedes team principal and rise in a kind of supervisor role along the lines of Niki Lauda within the team organization was denied by all sides. From Mercedes AMG F1, the factory team, just like from Daimler group spokesman Jörg Howe. “Toto Wolff is and remains our team boss,” he said to the German Press Agency DPA.
A Mercedes F1-PR man had even described our story as “irresponsible”, according to which a partial sale of the team to a consortium led by Aston Martin boss Lawrence Stroll was also in the room. “We do not intend to withdraw from Formula 1,” said Daimler, but they had “the intention to continue with the factory team.” A denial of a claim that was not even made in the original report.
Yesterday, Toto Wolff even indirectly confirmed our report in a zoom video conference with journalists: “I have to question myself,” sayd the Viennese. “I don’t want to be a team leader who changes from great to good without realizing that you might not be able to contribute as much to the team as you did at the beginning. I have the feeling that I can still contribute a lot, but of course I think about my future and also discuss with Ola (Källenius, Daimler board member, editor) how this could work. We’re right in the middle of carving our future together, so I don’t want to be tied to a specific title, whether that’s team boss or managing director. ”
The Austrian does also not categorically rule out a change in Mercedes’ Formula 1 involvement either – contrary to what the press spokesman suggested last week. Wolff: “The marketing value that Mercedes generates through the Formula 1 platform is enormous. Formula 1 is solid, we have the support, so that’s not an issue at the moment.”
But he also concedes: “That doesn’t mean that you don’t have to question this commitment anyway. In times of Corona, where the automotive industry is changing, every commitment has to be discussed. “
Red Bull sports director Helmut Marko is also pouring oil into the fire of speculation about a restructuring at Mercedes that goes beyond “at the moment”: “Let’s wait and see what developments are going on at Mercedes. A lot is happening in terms of personnel, as you can hear,” he said to the daily newspaper Österreich during last weekend.
Formula 1 expert Ralf Schumacher also finds it “very, very exciting” that the constellation with Wolff’s connection to Lawrence Stroll and his investment in Aston Martin could open the door for closer networking between the Daimler group and the British sports car manufacturer – as ist was reported by us.
Schumi II: “The complete drive train from Aston Martin comes from Mercedes. There is a closeness that will certainly allow one or two things in the future. ” He therefore interprets the comprehensive Daimler denials as a statement that “has not been used to block things from being changed. Let’s put it this way … ”
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