As it stands, the team contracts with the Formula One Group operate through 2020 and that’s most likely the key date that will find much of F1’s new direction under the ownership control of Liberty Media. Liberty has a lot of work to do and the good news they are used to this kind of organizational assimilation and deal-making.
As such, the teams will be looking at the next three years in F1 with an eye on considering their future beyond 2020 through contract negotiations which are said to be starting in anger this season. In order for Mercedes to keep its cohesiveness and direction aimed straight, the team have extended contracts to its two bosses, Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda.
Niki Lauda began working with Mercedes in late 2012. Since 2013, he has held the role of Non-Executive Chairman of the board of Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd and holds a 10% stake in the Team.
Toto Wolff joined Mercedes from Williams in February 2013. As a 30% shareholder in Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd and an Executive Director, he has worked since that time as the Team’s managing partner, responsible for day-to-day operations alongside his wider responsibilities as Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport.
Niki Lauda commented:
“The last few years have been some of the most enjoyable I have had in Formula One. Toto and I formed a perfect partnership at Mercedes and we have a great team on every level that has delivered results. I must thank Dieter and the other members of the board of Daimler AG for renewing their confidence in us.”
Toto Wolff concluded:
“Winning is never down to single individuals – it is about the right group of people coming together, aligning themselves with a common objective and then combining their talents to achieve that target. Each day I come to the factory, I am humbled to have the privilege of representing this inspiring group of people.”
Cohesion is good given the departure of Nico Rosberg and Paddy Lowe and they will need clear direction moving forward as they engage in contract negotiations with Liberty Media regarding anything beyond 2020 which will also be the time the two bosses either remain or depart the Mercedes F1 team operation.