By Carol M. Creasey
Toto Wolff owns a third of the shares of the Mercedes Formula 1 Team, and he has given 100 percent commitment ever since he joined them in 2013.
When Mercedes’ 2021 car – the W12 was unveiled Toto spoke about how each year is a new beginning, and the team never feels complacent, even after winning seven championships over the last seven years. It would be easy to rest on their laurels after such amazing results with both the driver and team taking the championship every year since 2014, but Toto says the success they have had only motivates the team to want to work even harder to keep the momentum going, and to keep raising the bar.
Toto speaks proudly too about his drivers, fending off any rumours that Sir Lewis Hamilton or Valtteri Bottas are being replaced by anyone else. The Press have been very keen to put Verstappen in the car, but Toto says he has no intention of poaching him, as he is contracted to Red Bull Racing until at least 2023. He has also commented that when the time comes for a change, his first conversation will be with his current drivers, and after that he has the junior drivers programme to consider, namely Esteban Ocon and George Russell.
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With Sir Lewis only signing a one year contract with Mercedes, there will inevitably be rumours about his future and his seat. However Toto has made it abundantly clear that the future of our seven-time world champion lies firmly in his own hands, but he is also confident that if he decides he wants to continue racing, then he will stay with Mercedes. This is no surprise, with the sort of respect given to their drivers, most drivers on the grid would probably want to be in the team. Mercedes also does not remove a driver from his seat during the season if said driver is not winning races. Instead, the team tries to address the problem by looking at the reasons why, because they have faith and loyalty towards their drivers.
Toto’s message re-affirming the team’s commitment to providing another great car has the fans all buzzing with excitement. Can they win an eighth consecutive championship? Other teams also have been working hard. Sebastian Vettel has a fresh start with Aston Martin, and Ferrari has two great drivers in Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. Then Sergio Perez will be joining Max Verstappen at Red Bull, another very fast car with a formidable line-up.
Who knows what will happen when the lights go out in Bahrain, but what we do know is that Sir Lewis and Valtteri will be driving their hearts out, and it will definitely be a closer and more exciting season.
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