Before the 2020 season shutdown due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the talk of contract renewals was certainly in the forefront of most conversations heading into the season. With several races canceled or postponed and the reaction fo governments prompting a economic shutdown, team has more pressing matters at hand.
Several drivers are coming to he end of their contracts and many of those contract renewals were most likely going to use the 2021 regulation changes and team progress towards those changes as. Litmus test as to whether they stayed or sought more fertile ground in signing any new contracts.
Drivers were just the Moree visible elements in the press but one contract renewal has sleepily caught my eye and the tis the end of Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff’s contract. Would he renew his commitment to the team, would the team continue beyond 2020 and what is the chummy relationship with Lawrence Stroll really all about?
Rumors had placed Wolff in a very friendly relationship with Racing Point team owner, Lawrence Stroll, as he invested heavily in Aston Martin and made preparations for convert his team to the Aston Martin F1 team. The rumors had Wolff going to Racing Point/ Aston Martin and that would be shocking news to be sure.
On the surface, one wondered if a possible move for Wolff would play a role in any possible renewal that star-driver Lewis Hamilton might make in regards to his commitment to Mercedes. Would Lewis feel comfortable signing a 3-year deal with Mercedes without Wolff at the helm?
Autosport is suggesting that Toto Wolff has made a personal investment in Aston Martin. For that matter, Mercedes themselves have an investment in the car maker as well so perhaps Wolff’s investment isn’t a sign that he’s moving on from the Mercedes F1 team so much as investing personally in a car maker who will assume the Racing Point F1 team and is a strong customer of Mercedes for engine supplies.
Mercedes said that Toto’s investment was a purely financial investment and would no impact his current Mercedes commitment. It all may be exactly as described but we’ve all been around the sport long enough to know that all of this acquisition, investment and maneuvering is rarely as simple as it is often described.
I suspect Toto has leveraged his roles in a manner that will provide, if anything else, lots of future options for himself and his family. Whether that is continuing at Mercedes or moving to Aston Martin, time will tell.
Hat Tip: Autosport