Great Britain

F1: Mercedes boss Toto Wolff denies Aston Martin rumours

Wolff to discuss future with Daimler 

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff has denied reports that he could leave to join Aston Martin’s works team in 2021.   

Aston Martin will make its return to F1 next year and with Wolff out of contract at the end of the 2020 season it’s speculated that he could be brought in to lead the new outfit.

Crash.net reports that Wolff has dismissed the speculation and plans to discuss his Mercedes future with Daimler.

In an interview with Austrian broadcaster ORF, Wolff said: “There is no truth to the rumours that I’m going to be CEO of Aston Martin. I’m in a partnership with Daimler in the F1 team and that’s my priority. 

“An investment consortium led by Lawrence Stroll has taken over a share [of Aston Martin]. This is a financial investment. But an operational role on my part at Aston Martin is definitely out of the question.” 

Wolff has led the Silver Arrows to six successive F1 constructors’ championships and he added: “I am with Mercedes in our eighth year now and I really enjoy working with the people there.

“At the same time, I discuss our future with Ola Källenius, our joint venture and how we want to continue together. 

“The platform is working very well for Mercedes as a brand and therefore everything points to us working together for the next few years.”

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Stroll excited by Aston project

Aston Martin’s return as an F1 works team in 2021 was confirmed yesterday in a news release. 

Racing Point will be rebranded as part of a major investment led by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, who will become executive chairman of Aston Martin. 

Stroll, who is the father of current Racing Point F1 driver Lance, said: “A brand with the pedigree and history of Aston Martin needs to be competing at the highest level of motorsport. 

“I think it’s the most exciting thing that’s happened in recent memory in Formula 1 and it’s incredibly exciting for all stakeholders in the sport, especially the fans. I can’t think of a better name for a Formula 1 team.”

Money not the key factor for Vettel

Sebastian Vettel’s contract at Ferrari expires at the end of the 2020 season and the German says that money is not the key factor for any decision on his future. 

Speaking to Autosport the four-time world champion said: “It depends what’s important to you, what drives you. And that’s fair. If money is your motivator then it can drive you very far, and make you very successful. 

“There’s a lot of sportsmen, businessmen that thrive for money. I think the question really is whether people have a sense of enough. 

“That’s not just valid for Formula 1. We are putting our life in a way also on the line, then you need to show some appreciation for that. 

“Our careers also are shorter than some other careers. I think the really important thing is that you are happy, that’s the key.”

Vettel will be 33 this summer and in the interview with Autosport he said he was also pondering his future after F1. However, he is “quite relaxed” about the situation. 

He added: “If I’m realistic, I’m not going to be here in ten years. So I think this is something you naturally start to think about. 

“I think I’m in a very fortunate position that I can probably try and do a lot of things, once I have decided to stop racing in F1. 

“Maybe race something else, maybe do something different in motorsport or do something completely different outside. 

“I have some ideas, but I haven’t decided. I’m quite relaxed.”

British GP decision at end of April 

A decision on whether the F1 British Grand Prix can go ahead will be made by the end of April.

The Silverstone event is scheduled for 17-19 July but the coronavirus pandemic has already seen the opening eight races of 2020 cancelled or postponed. 

British GP organisers said: “We fully appreciate that other UK sporting events in July have taken decisions regarding their events, but it is important to highlight that their logistics and sporting arrangements differ from Silverstone’s. 

“Therefore, our timeline gives us until the end of April to make a final decision. The safety of our fans, colleagues and the F1 community will be our priority and we will continue to engage with the appropriate authorities.”

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