Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has reiterated that he wants to stay committed to his current outfit despite his recent investment in Aston Martin which fuelled speculation about a possible departure from the Anglo-German team.
In an interview with Formula1.com, Wolff has stressed once again that his latest investment in Aston Martin Lagonda was a personal one. The Austrian purchased a 4.77 per cent stake in Aston Martin in April that has been later diluted to 0.95 per cent following rights issues. Although Mercedes confirmed right after the announcement of the investement that Wolff’s role would be unaffected by the transaction, rumours started to circle, suggesting that the Vienna-born could leave the Anglo-German squad.
Wolff has revealed that the only reason why he has purchased a stake in the British luxury sports car manufacturer was that he believes in the financial potential of the Aston Martin Lagonda company.
“On my future, I have bought a few shares in Aston Martin as a financial investment. I believe in the brand, I believe that the strategy makes sense. Tobias Moers [new chief executive of Aston Martin] is a guy I’ve known since a long time and I believe he can turn around this business.
“There’s a very strong group of shareholders that are backing Aston Martin today that will not let it down and therefore I have decided to be part of that group. My executive functions are unchanged.”
After leaving the Williams Formula One Team, Wolff has become the executive director of Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport in January 2013. In addition to joining the Anglo-German team, he also acquired a 30 per cent stake in Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd. Later on, the former driver instructor took over the co-ordination of all Mercedes-Benz motorsport activities.
Wolff has stress that he does not ponder of leaving Mercedes as he still enjoys the atmosphere inside the entire company.
“I am at Mercedes, I am the Team Principal, and I am a shareholder, and it’s clear that when there are other headlines out there that the Aston Martin thing caused some waves but I am planning with Mercedes, I have the best intention to stay here, and that is unchanged.”
“I really enjoyed the interaction and working with all of my friends, at the Formula 1 team, and at Daimler, and this is something I wouldn’t want to miss. Nevertheless, I need to question myself, I don’t want to become a Team Principal who goes from great to good without realising that he’s maybe not adding as much anymore to the team as he did in the beginning,” he is quoted as saying by formula1.com.
It has been suggested that Wolff could stay at Mercedes, albeit he could change his role inside the team. The Austrian refused to confirm that his role would be unchanged, indicating that talks between himself and Daimler boss Ola Kallenius were ongoing.
“I still feel I can add a lot, but of course I’m contemplating my future, I’m in discussion with Ola [Kallenius, Daimler chief] about how that goes. It’s not a simple employment contract, it involves a shareholding.”
“We’re in the midst of the process in carving our joint future, so I don’t want to stick to some particular wording, whether that’s Team Principal or Managing Director that plays no role. To be honest with you, I haven’t taken any decision yet as we haven’t even started racing yet,” he concluded.