Toto Wolff will remain as Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Principal for another three years after it was confirmed both he and chemicals company Ineos will gain a third share of the outfit, together with Daimler.

The Austrian, who has helmed the all-conquering Mercedes F1 team through each of its seven consecutive F1 world titles, had flirted with the idea of stepping back but this announcement confirms that not only will he stay on board, he’ll part-own it too.

Mercedes-Benz’s parent company Daimler had a controlling 60 per cent stake in the team but this will be reduced to 33%, with an equal share being assumed by Wolff and Ineos, the latter upping its involvement in the team having come on board as a sponsor for 2020.

"I am pleased to begin this new chapter for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team,” said Wolff. “This team is like a family for me. We have been through so many highs and lows together that I cannot imagine working with a better group of people in this sport - and I am very happy to continue together into this new era. 

“This new investment from INEOS confirms that the business case for Formula One teams is robust and sends an important signal of confidence in the sport after a challenging year. I am excited to welcome Jim, Andy and John to the team as co-owners: they have built one of the most profitable companies in the world, they embody the true spirit of entrepreneurship and their expertise will strengthen our board in the years ahead. 

“In parallel, it is a privilege to continue my partnership with Ola, Markus Schäfer and Mercedes-Benz for the coming years. We are proud to have added to the brand's prestigious motorsport heritage since 2010 and we share the ambition to grow the organisation further in the years to come."

With an annual turnover of an estimated $80 billion, INEOS’ increased involvement lays credence to rumours that it was potentially considering buying out the team amid talk Daimler could have exited altogether. The British company is part-owned and chaired by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the richest man in the UK (and 74th richest globally) according to Forbes

“Big challenges are a core part of our mindset at INEOS and our involvement across a number of different sports demonstrates that we always aim for the very best. When we entered Formula One earlier this year, we chose to do so with a Mercedes team that had set new benchmarks, and since then we have been in discussions about how we could increase our involvement. 

“This is a unique opportunity to make a financial investment in a team at the very top of its game, but which still has rich potential to grow in the future. We could not wish for better partners than Mercedes-Benz, and a team of proven winners led by Toto."

This announcement is expected to precede confirmation of Lewis Hamilton staying on board, potentially to mirror Wolff’s three year extension. The seven-time world champion has made repeated reference to wanting to stay on board provided Wolff remained in charge.

 

 

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