Toto Wolff has dismissed reports that Mercedes could sell a majority stake in the Formula 1 team to current sponsor Ineos.
The partnership between Mercedes and Ineos was announced at the start of this season. During the Mugello race weekend, a report fueled by Eddie Jordan in British newspaper the Mail on Sunday claimed Ineos and its CEO Sir Jim Ratcliffe is set to purchase a 70% stake from Mercedes, but team principal Wolff denied the rumor.
“People pick up bits and pieces and construct the story around it,” Wolff said. “We have a magnificent relationship with Ineos. We work together on several high-tech projects around the America’s Cup and the cycling team, and the partnership is very complementary. We have the same ambitions with our sports teams, and that’s why Ineos is a partner of ours.
“Beyond that, everything is just speculation. Daimler has no intent in giving up the team, and Ineos has no interest in buying a majority of the team and calling it like this and I have no reason to depart from my shareholding. So plenty of things that are made up.”
Wolff’s comments do not rule out the potential of Ineos purchasing a smaller stake in the team, but he insists there will be no significant change, and that the only reason both his and Lewis Hamilton’s futures have yet to be finalized is due to the recent race schedule.
“The future of the team is absolutely clear: It’s the Mercedes Petronas AMG team and nothing is going to change that,” he said. “In terms of Lewis, the wider (reasons) why we never find the time for the discussions between Lewis and myself is because we simply had three triple-headers one after the other, and now it’s just about sitting down and hammering it out.”
Hamilton and Wolff are both currently out of contract at the end of this season.