La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Mercedes boss Toto Wolff confirmed he plans on staying with Mercedes beyond 2020.
Since the Austrian’s current contract with Mercedes expires at the end of 2020, his future has been a subject of debate. Wolff himself even said he was pondering his future. However, Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport reports the Austrian said he plans on staying.
“[Sergio] Marchionne [the late chairman and CEO of Ferrari] wanted me out of Mercedes to manage Liberty and make the team less strong,” Wolff said.
“I thought about it for a year, but I came to the conclusion that the place I am happiest is at the heart of the team, in the garage, seeing the mechanics work, being a silent observer, being part of the analysis with the engineers.
“At the moment I can confirm that I will stay.
“The relationship with Marchionne and [former Ferrari boss Maurizio] Arrivabene was special,” Wolff continued.
“I learned a lot from Maurizio in terms of marketing and we still have contract, and of course there were difficult moments, especially with Sergio before he died.
“The last message I received from him was ‘We will meet again’. I never deleted it.
“With Mattia [Binotto, current Ferrari team principal] perhaps there is a different approach – we have different characters.”
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However, there is another big change at Mercedes. Andy Cowell, former Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains boss and the man behind Mercedes’ dominant Hybrid engine, has left his position earlier this year.
Although his future is as of yet unknown, he has been linked to both Ferrari and Aston Martin’s F1 operations. Cowell reportedly declined Ferrari’s offer to join the team and now Wolff comments on his former colleague’s future.
“Andy has played a very important role in our team, and since 2014 has been able to steadily improve the level of our results,” said Wolff during the press sessions at Monza.
“I have a very warm attitude towards him both as a person and an engineer. Now he is evaluating all his possible options, and he has a lot of them! Only he can decide what suits him best.
“I don’t think he has to rush, and I don’t think Andy will accept the first offer that comes along either.
“But a specialist with such a list of achievements and the ability to lead people can really have any job he wants,” concluded the Austrian.