Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has made a personal investment in the Aston Martin, but he remains committed to his current position at Mercedes F1 team.
Over the past weeks, Wolff has been rumored to be interested in the Aston Martin Lagonda company. When Formula 1 Chairman Chase Carey, FIA President Jean Todt and F1 team bosses met on March 19 to discuss the first measures the sport had to take in reaction to the ongoing novel COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, the Mercedes and Racing Point outfits were represented by their technical directors. It was believed that Wolff and his friend Lawrence Stroll were busy with business talks.
When asked about his plans, the Austrian denied rumors, distancing himself from Aston Martin. However, it has become official that Wolff has purchased a stake worth £37million in the British luxury sports car manufacturer. The 48-year-old businessman’s stake is 4.77 percent, though that will be watered down to 0.95 percent next week after a rights issue will dilute the investment.
'Fully diluted following the pending rights issue, this investment will represent a 0.95 percent stake in the company. It is a financial investment and Toto's partnership and executive roles with Mercedes are unaffected by the transaction,” a spokesperson for Mercedes is quoted as saying by Sportsmail.
Although it seems that there is a conflict of interest in Wolff buying a stake in Aston Martin, there are several connections in the background. Forming a close alliance with Mercedes as one of its customer teams, Racing Point is set to be rebranded as Aston Martin’s works team after the team’s owner Lawrence Stroll purchased a stake worth 16.7 percent earlier this year.
Mercedes’ parent company Daimler also has an interest in Aston after it purchased a 5% stake in the company in 2013. Mercedes also has a technical partnership with Aston by supplying engines to its road cars. It is also believed that Wolff’s investment was made with the blessing of the Daimler board in Stuttgart.