Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff says he is still weighing up whether he wants to continue in his role as team principal after the 2020 season.

Under Wolff’s leadership, Mercedes has become the most successful F1 team in history and is on course to claim the unprecedented feat of winning seven consecutive world championship doubles this year.

Wolff arrived as Mercedes’ F1 team principal and head of motorsport in 2013 and is out of contract at the end of the current season, with talks about extending his position ongoing.

The Austrian insisted discussions with the German manufacturer have been “positive” but said he remains in a “moment of reflection” about his future role.

“These are discussions which are ongoing, and which are positive, and I enjoy them,” Wolff explained. “I don’t want to give it a spin that I’m leaving, because that is not the case.

“It’s just I’m in a moment of reflection where F1 is heading to, what is happening around the Covid case, and also personal reasons which I said before.

“Susie [Wolff] is in a good place running a Formula E team and that means she’s away a lot. I’ve been to God knows how many Formula 1 races, I think 120 F1 races in the last eight years. And that’s something we’re thinking about.”

Wolff stressed his considerations relate to the exact nature of his future position within the team, rather than a possible departure from Mercedes and F1 altogether.

“What that means for the future is a decision I need to take, together with my wife, and together with Ola [Kallenius, Chairman of Daimler],” he added.

“That doesn’t mean I won’t be around as a Team Principal, or I won’t be around in another role. It’s just that I’m thinking about it.

“I really have enjoyed many years in F1, in that role [Team Principal], and the discussions we are having are very good. I’m happy that my relationship with Ola 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.”

Reigning six-times world champion Lewis Hamilton is widely expected to remain at Mercedes but the Briton is yet to begin talks over a renewed deal, citing he feels uncomfortable negotiating a “big contract” in the current climate.

While Wolff and Hamilton enjoy a strong and pivotal relationship within the team, the Mercedes chief doubts his own decision would influence Hamilton’s future in any way.

“I think Lewis staying at this moment is the best he can do and is what he wants to do,” Wolff said. “He has the possibility of achieving great success going forward, winning more races and hopefully championships.

“It’s flattering that he says that is dependent on what I do. But he doesn’t need me. He has a great team there, that will always support him.”

 

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