Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff, has said there has been “a misunderstanding” over the length of his renewed commitment to the Formula 1 team.
One of the long-running storylines from the 2020 season has been the future of Wolff at Mercedes, with his previous contract expiring at the end of campaign.
He spent a lot of the season assessing his options and his main fear was becoming good and no longer great at being the person to guide Mercedes to more World Championship success.
But, on Friday, December 18, after adding another title double to the vast collection of trophies in the Mercedes cabinet, the Silver Arrows made two major announcements.
The first was a restructuring of the ownership shares in the team with INEOS and Wolff increasing their stake to 33.3% and Daimler reducing theirs, also to 33.3%, in order to create a joint, equal co-ownership between the three parties.
There was also news on Wolff’s future, with the Mercedes statement saying:
‘Under the new shareholding structure, Toto Wolff will continue in his role as Team Principal and CEO for a further three years, leading the executive operations of the company and the racing team.
‘He will have the subsequent opportunity to transition to a new executive function within the organisation when he decides it is the right time to do so.’
But, in a post-announcement conference call, Wolff said his commitment is much greater than just a new three-year deal.
“I have not committed myself for three more years, but for life!” Wolff said, as quoted by Motorsport-Total.com.
“We are now three shareholders who own the company.”
Wolff also said that “regardless of” his current role, he has the freedom to step down at any moment and transition into another role such as CEO or Chairman of the Board.
He simply added: “Mercedes is what I do.”
To our Mercedes family… 💌 pic.twitter.com/Ro8ZoDju4n
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) December 19, 2020
The only new contract now left to be announced is that of a certain driver called Lewis Hamilton, whilst we continue to wait for his contract extension to be agreed, he is naturally very happy that Wolff has decided to pledge his continued allegiance to the Silver Arrows.
Hamilton said: “He is such a great figurehead, and I think that the team is just better for it, to have that longevity, and it’s great to see that commitment from Mercedes.
“But the added bonus of having INEOS who came in this year and have been a part of our success this year, it’s great to see they’re going to be a part of this team and help with the stability of this team moving forward in growing to be better.”