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Wolff pondering his future at Mercedes

NEWS STORY
14/08/2020

For some time now there has been speculation over the future of Mercedes, in terms of its star driver, its team boss and even its own long-term commitment to the sport.

While the signing of Valtteri Bottas - albeit on a one year deal - suggests the Brackley-based outfit is staying put, its preference to extend the current Concorde Agreement for another year rather than commit to a new one suggested that the German team's long-term participation in F1 isn't done and dusted.

Having previously said that he wouldn't re-sign until he knows what Toto Wolff's plans are, now Lewis Hamilton insists that his reluctance is due to the various crises the world is facing at this time.

Speaking to reporters in Barcelona today, Wolff, whose current contract with the team also ends this year, when asked about his future only muddied the waters further.

"Many factors make me want to stay but it takes its toll," said the Austrian, who owns a 30% stake in the world championship winning team.

"There is no reason not to continue," he added, before confusing the issue when he said: "We will find out in which role.

We want to do the best for the team and continue to see the team prosper," he continued. "I really enjoy the role and my plan is to continue but I never want to be in situation where you are becoming from very good to good."

Ever since new Mercedes CEO, Ola Kallenius arrived on the scene there has been talk of friction between the pair, while it is also claimed that Daimler bosses are unhappy with Wolff's high profile.

"I am happy that my relationship with Ola is probably as good as it can be," said Wolff, "we speak almost every day and there are many factors that make me want to stay in F1. On the other side, it takes a toll, and this plays into my under consideration."

Asked if it was possible that he may not continue as team principal, he said: "This is down to the discussion between Ola and myself.

"We want to do the best for the team and continue to see the team prosper. And as I have said before, I really enjoy the role, and my plan is to continue.

"I enjoy what I do," he said. "I enjoy it mostly because I love to work with the people that are within the team. There is no better place for me to be in meeting room with the engineers, to sit in the garage and watch the great work that is happening around. I enjoy the battles that we have off track. I like to engage with our sponsors and partners.

"What that means for the future is a decision that I need to take together with my wife, and together with Ola. That doesn't mean I won't be around as a team principal or I won't be around in another role, but it's just that I'm thinking about it."

Asked if his ultimate decision will influence Lewis Hamilton, he said: "Lewis staying is the best thing he can do and it's what he wants to do. He has the possibility of achieving great success.

"It's flattering he says it is dependent on what I do but he doesn't need me," he added. "I haven't taken the decision yet. These are discussions that are ongoing and positive and I enjoy them.

"I don't want to give you the spin that I am leaving because that is not the case. It is just I am in a moment of reflection, where F1 is heading, what is happening around COVID and also personal reasons.

"Susie is in a good place running a Formula E team and that means she is away a lot and I have been to something like 120 Grands Prix in the last eight years and it is something we are thinking about."

Check out our Friday gallery from Barcelona, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Paul C, 19/08/2020 20:10

"Sell everybody Ferrari power units. There's an equal handicap to encourage creativity elsewhere in the cars."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 15/08/2020 10:32

"Mercedes with Racing Point effectively now have a competetive B team going forward for this season and the next, Stroll senior next to buy Mercedes works team at end of 2021 mirroring Red Bull and Alpha Tauri, Wolff in advisory role, where does that leave Lewis though. "

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3. Posted by LR12, 15/08/2020 10:01

"I am appalled at the lack of management and foresight in F1, what are all the techi gurus doing ? I must say how disappointed I am in my motor racing hero, Ross Brawn and his crew who failed to grasp the nettle during lockdown, to radically update F1.

One day soon ( within the next couple of years ) Mercedes will have to pull out of F1, as will Renault and Honda. Last time this happened we were lucky enough to have Ford who provided the DFV which became the de facto standard for tears. I doubt the current political environment would allow Mercedes to do that, without too many conditions.

F1 needs to plan for the future without the main car manufacturers and therefore with a new economical engine formula, and forget the eco crowd, when you send 100 trucks a thousand miles to a race the eco damage done by a few race cars is irrelevant !

The engines need to be exciting and at a sensible price, and available within 12 months. That means they must exist today. To have any credibility, it will need to be a fast reving, and have V format. The more cylinders the better for the exclusivity and excitement and reflection of F1’s hay day.

Main car manufacturers are too fickle to invest in, so specialist engine manufacturers are the way to go. Perhaps the obvious choice would be the Cosworth V12 being developed for Gordon Murray and what better credentials could you ask for ? Perhaps that choice is too obvious, but let’s at least start the conversation."

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