What’s going on behind the scenes at Mercedes?

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Mercedes-Teamchef Toto Wolff. Credit: Mercedes
Mercedes-Teamchef Toto Wolff. Credit: Mercedes

Earlier this year, F1-Insider.com received interesting information. Toto Wolff and Lawrence Stroll could do something together at Aston Martin. It should be an exit strategy for Wolff – in the event that Mercedes, the factory team, might leave F1. 

​​Since then, the speculations have been fed continuously. There were talks of the Austrian being the CEO of the car manufacturer. Sometimes it was about a joint investment in the Aston Martin factory team. 

The basis for all this whispering: Wolff’s contract as Mercedes team boss expires at the end of the year. And he can’t become a Formula 1 boss after an intervention by Ferrari (F1-Insider.com reported here). 

Striking: The often half-hearted denials of the Viennese are piling up. The preliminary high point so far: He publicly insulted our colleague Dieter Rencken (racefans.net), describing him as “insane”. Rencken had previously reported a possible move from Wolffs to Aston Martin and a possible sale of the factory team.

Meanwhile, the Mercedes success team boss commented in a big way on a story from Motorsport-Total.com. According to which he had offered to Stroll for the takeover of Aston Martin shares.

Wolff told the daily newspaper “Österreich”: “I will not become CEO of Aston Martin. And I will not make any strategic investments there as an investor.”

However, the statements about his future at Mercedes are anything but straightforward. Wolff opens the door to speculation on the thesis that there are already bets on whether he will return to the command post as Mercedes team boss:

“I’ve been here for the eighth year. I love the sport and this team. However, I am somewhat surprised by the changes that have taken place over the winter and by the behavior of individual people. Of course, this also has to do with my decision on what to do in 2020 and beyond. ” 

Then Wolff makes a verbal U-turn:

” I am and will remain the head of Mercedes Motorsport and its Formula 1 boss, and nothing will change in the short term.”

The fact is: Wolff himself doesn’t know which options he will have from 2021, due to the fact, that there is still no clear Mercedes commitment. Daimler board member Ola Källenius recently remained cryptic towards Autocar: “It is important for us that a new deal is ecologically and financially sensible. But Formula 1 remains an attractive platform for us. ”

But that could also refer to an engagement only as an engine supplier.

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