Toto Wolff has described rumours that he could leave his role at the Mercedes Formula 1 team as “nonsense”, as he reiterated his intention to remain at the world champion outfit.

Wolff’s future at Mercedes has been the subject of much speculation in recent months, with the Austrian’s contract expiring at the end of the year and an agreement over a new deal yet to be struck.

Doubts over whether Wolff would continue in his role as Mercedes team principal were cast in media reports when he made a private investment in Aston Martin earlier this year, ahead of the British sportscar manufacturer’s return to the F1 grid in 2021.

Speaking on the latest Sky Sports F1 Vodcast, Wolff once again underlined his commitment to Mercedes in a move to quash the speculation.

“I think it’s all nonsense but I understand in a time when there is no racing, headlines have to be made,” he replied when asked about the rumours surrounding his and Mercedes’ future.

“Yes, I bought a few shares in Aston Martin and I believe in the long-term strategy of the car brand and the way it’s being deployed.

“It’s a financial investment, I’m not going to play any executive role there, it’s in the capable hands of Tobias Moers [new chief executive of Aston Martin] and Lawrence [Stroll] as chairman.

“I’m happy where I am. Mercedes is my family and I really enjoy the relationship I have within the racing group but also within the Daimler, contrary to what is being said outside.

“I am very close to Ola Kallenius [Daimler chief] and we speak almost every week and are very much aligned. So I’m not planning to go anywhere else.

“It’s our intention to come to a situation where we can announce some kind of agreement but it’s more complex, because I am not only a team principal but there is a shareholding structure behind it at the same time.”

Recent reports in Germany suggested there was a plan for the Mercedes F1 team to be sold to Stroll as part of an exit strategy, but Daimler hit back by calling the rumours “unfounded and irresponsible”.

“There’s always some kind of campaign and agenda going on,” Wolff said in a later video conference call with F1 media.

“It’s clear that every automotive company faces difficult and insecure times.

"Every single day you open up a magazine or newspaper it’s about Volkswagen or Renault or FIAT or Daimler, and in that respect I completely understand that a sporting platform is being questioned.

“The top management at Mercedes very much sees Formula 1 as a core activity – we build road cars and we build race cars – and actually the first ever car was a race car,” he added.

“And in that respect we don’t see it simply as a marketing platform that generates valuable marketing dollars but we see it as a co-exercise. There is a technology transfer between the road and Formula 1 and it’s not being criticised within Daimler.

“Nevertheless we discuss all of our activities and all of our investments every single year and I think we’re just a target of somebody that wants to create some headlines and have more clicks.”

 

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