Wolff hints at Mercedes stay, plays down Hamilton contact with Ferrari

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Motorsport boss Toto Wolff has given the biggest hint yet he will remain at Mercedes post-2020.

The Austrian is out of contract at the German manufacturer after next year and has been linked to the role of Formula 1 CEO following what would be seven years with the company.

But at a time when Mercedes is considering their future motorsport program, including whether to stay in F1, it appears Wolff, who is responsible for all their racing activities, is happy to stay put.

"I enjoy the relationships within the team and the relationships to the decision-makers in Daimler," he said at the FIA Gala in Paris last week.

"That is a fundamental part of my well-being. They have really trusted us and given us all the room that we need to make this team successful.

"I'm not taking it lightly to come up with the right decision for all of us," he insisted. "This is a process that's going to take a little bit of time, but I don't see any surprises as it stands."

Also Read:

His decision will also have a bearing on whether Lewis Hamilton stays or makes the much talked about switch to Ferrari.

"Would it be the same without Toto [Wolff]? I don't think so, but he's got to do what's right for him," he suggested.

"And just like I'll know what's right for me when I have to make that decision, he has to make the right decision for him and what's best for him and his family and his future. Change is also sometimes a good thing."

In Paris, Wolff was asked about the claims in Abu Dhabi that Lewis had made contact twice with Ferrari chairman John Elkann about a potential 2021 move.

But while it was big news in the desert, the Mercedes chief revealed he had known for some time.

“It's part of the narrative," he said. "It's good to know over the winter these talks happen.

“In terms of the silly season it's normal. You guys drop us little grenades, sometimes we pick them up and then they explode in our hand!

“[But] there have never been surprises. When things came out in the press it was weeks or months that we knew about each other and what our thinking was.

"It's just part of Formula 1, I guess. The two of us have been together for quite a while and we trust each other."