Wolff hints at leaving role as Mercedes F1 boss with a message for Hamilton

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Toto Wolff has again hinted he may at least step aside from his role as team boss at Mercedes after 2020.

The Austrian is out of contract with the German manufacturer at the end of this year and was linked to a role at Aston Martin due to his friendship with owner Lawrence Stroll.

That outcome does appear improbable now, but that's not to say Wolff's considering handing over the reins at Mercedes and a clear example of that came on Friday, amid suggestions his future could have a bearing on that of Lewis Hamilton too.

“I think Lewis staying at Mercedes is the best thing he can do and it’s what he wants to do,” he told the media in Barcelona on Friday.

“He has the possibility to achieve great success going forward. It’s flattering that he says it depends on what I do but I think he doesn’t need me.”

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As for the current status of talks regarding his future, Toto said: “As I said before, I have not taken the decision yet. These are discussions that are ongoing, they are positive and I enjoy them and I don’t want to give it a spin that I am leaving.

“It’s not the case. I am just in a moment of reflection.”

Asked what it is he's reflecting over, Wolff, who has been associated with F1 since 2009 when he invested in Williams, explained...

“Reflection on where F1 is heading to, what is happening with COVID and also personal reasons," he said.

“Susie (Wolff’s wife) is in a good place running a Formula E team, that means she is away a lot. I’ve been on God knows how many races and that’s something we are thinking about.

“It’s down to the discussion between Ola (Kallenius, Daimler chairman) and myself. We want to do the best for the team, to continue to see the team prosper."

Indeed, previously Toto has suggested that he could assume more of a Niki Lauda-style role advising Mercedes moving forward, rather than being in charge of the day-to-day operations.

“I really have enjoyed many years in F1, in that role [Team Principal], and the discussions we are having are very good. I’m happy that my relationship with Ola is probably as good as it can be.

“We speak almost every day, there are many factors which make me want to stay in F1. On the other side, it takes a toll, and this plays into my consideration.

"But as it stands, there is no reason not to continue with Mercedes, and we will find out in which role.”