Wolff rubbishes Ineos-Mercedes takeover claim as 'made up'

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has denied a report claiming current partner Ineos has offered to buy a majority stake in the team.

Rumours over the future of the Brackley-based outfit have been running all year, with uncertainty over whether the German manufacturer's Daimler would pull the plug on the works Formula 1 team.

Then, last Sunday, the Daily Mail quoted former F1 team owner Eddie Jordan as claiming Ineos, which is owned by billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe and began a five-year partnership with Mercedes at the start of this year, was eyeing a 70% takeover of the Brackley-based outfit with an offer of £700m.

“People pick up bits and pieces and construct the story around it,” Wolff said in response after the Mugello GP.

Also Read:

“We have a magnificent relationship with Ineos. We work together on several high-tech projects around the America’s Cup and the cycling team. And the partnership is very complementary.

“We have the same ambitions with our sports teams and that’s why Ineos is a partner of ours. Beyond that, everything is just speculation.

“Daimler has no intent in giving up the team, and Ineos has no interest in buying a majority of the team and calling it like this and I have no reason to depart from my shareholding.

“So plenty of things that are made up.”

Under the new Concorde Agreement, however, teams do have the power to withdraw at the end of each year, perhaps leaving the door open for a change in ownership for 2022.

And some are making what may be the common sense link between these stories and the current uncertainty over the future's of Lewis Hamilton and Wolff himself, who are yet to sign beyond this year.

“The future of the team is absolutely clear: It’s the Mercedes Petronas AMG team and nothing is going to change that,” the Austrian insisted.

“In terms of Lewis, the wider discussions why we never find the time for the discussions between Lewis and myself is because we simply had three triple-headers one after the other and now it’s just about sitting down and hammering it out.”