Toto Wolff says he “cannot even walk away” from Mercedes

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Toto Wolff says the Mercedes Formula 1 team is “not a project anymore”, it is now ‘his company’, and he wants to “keep this forever”.

Back in 2020 there was a lot of speculation in the media about Toto Wolff’s future in Formula 1. The Austrian has since admitted it was a crucial year, as he himself was asking himself how long he wanted to continue to lead the Mercedes team.

However, in December of 2020 it was announced that Wolff has increased his shareholding in the team to 30% and became a one-third owner, along with Daimler and INEOS.

Wolff now explains it was a turning point in how he viewed his involvement in the team.

“In 2020, I was thinking [about the future],” the Austrian said.

“My plan in a way was that when I’m 49, I’m going to stop doing this. Because as a 50-year-old, you’re grown up, you’re not being team manager anymore.

“But what changed then is what was the project: buy the shares, and sell the shares, like investments in our finance industry. In 2020, I came to the conclusion to say: ‘I’m going to keep this’.


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“For the first time in my life, I changed my business strategy from an investment guy who buys, develops and sells, to buy, develop, keep. It was a big change.

“It took me one year to digest that, [the fact] that I don’t want to go back into the [finance] industry where I have been doing that 25 years, but actually, I wanted to become a real entrepreneur and keep this forever.

“That was the moment to keep on.”

Wolff then explained in his early days with Mercedes, his only mission was to make the team succesful.

“That was the only thing that was important, because winning championships meant financial success. I originally signed a three-year deal.

“Then, when I really enjoyed it, I signed another three-year deal. And I really enjoyed it. And then came the crucial moment.

“So, it was 2013/14/15, plus 2016/17/18. And then I signed another one 2019/20/21. And in 2020, I didn’t know if I wanted to continue doing this or not?



“So, it was always previously linked to a contractual term, whereas now, it’s not anymore.”

The Austrian ultimately said he is now linked to the Mercedes F1 team for life.

“It’s my company. It’s my team. The problem is I cannot even walk away. I can only bring up talent and change the scope of my activities to go in a way.

“It’s not a project anymore, it’s my company. I’m one of three shareholders and I need to pinch myself every day of this opportunity.

“It’s important with all the up and downs,” Wolff concluded.

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