Toto Wolff admits he is considering his future at Mercedes and there is a chance he might not retain the position of team principal next season.
Mercedes has dominated Formula 1 in the hybrid era, winning all of the drivers’ and constructors’ championships since 2014. Wolff joined the team in 2013 — at the same time as Lewis Hamilton — and effectively took over from Ross Brawn as team principal at the end of that year. With his contract set to expire at the end of 2020, he says he is considering what his role might be moving forward.
“I really have enjoyed many years in F1, in that role, and the discussions we are having are very good,” Wolff said. “I’m happy that my relationship with Ola (Källenius, chairman of the board at Daimler) is probably as good as it can be. We speak almost every day.
“There are many factors which make me want to stay in F1. On the other side, it takes a toll, and this plays into my consideration. But as it stands, there is no reason not to continue with Mercedes, and we will find out in which role.
“I enjoy what I do, mostly because I love to work with the people in the team and there is no better place than to be in a meeting room with the engineers to sit in the garage and watch the great work that is happening. I enjoy the battles that we have off-track; I like to engage with our sponsors and partners; this is how I feel.
“What that means for the future is a decision I need to take together with my wife (former racer Susie Wolff), and together with Ola. That doesn’t mean I won’t be around as team principal, or any other role, just that I’m thinking about it.”
Hamilton’s contract also expires at the end of this season and the six-time world champion has said Wolff’s future will have an impact on his own decision, but the Austrian wants to see Hamilton stay regardless of what happens at a management level.
“I think Lewis staying at that moment is the best he can do, and what he wants to do. He has the possibility of achieving great success going forward, winning more races and hopefully championships, and it’s flattering he says it is dependent on what I do but I think he doesn’t need me. He has a great team there that will always support him.
“As I said, I haven’t taken the decision yet — these are discussions that are ongoing, that are positive and I enjoy them. I don’t want to give it a spin that I am leaving, because that’s not the case; it’s just that I am in a moment of reflection where F1 is heading to, what is happening around the COVID (situation), and also personal reasons that I said before.
“Susie is in a good place running a Formula E team and that means she is away a lot. I have been to God knows how many F1 races — I think 120 in the last eight years — and that is something we are thinking about.”