The departure of Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes raises many questions. One of the first questions is surely who will succeed the great Briton. However, now many are also questioning the future of Toto Wolff.
The Team Principal and CEO of Mercedes recently decided to extend his contract for three years. Earlier, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell also extended their contracts. It seemed then that Hamilton would end his career at Mercedes. However, that will not happen.
Wolff received interesting questions from journalists. They wonder if Wolff would change his decision regarding the contract extension if he knew that Hamilton would leave the team next season. Toto emphasized that his decision is final and that Hamilton's choice would not have changed his.
“No, it wouldn’t have changed that,” he said, reported by crash.net
“I think whatever role in the team, or whatever title they give it, I’m going to be there in the future.
So it was a no-brainer to continue in an executive role, you can call it CEO, managing director, chairman, or team principal."
Toto Wolff explained that sticking with Mercedes was the obvious choice for him. He takes great pride in being part of the Mercedes Formula 1 team, which has a rich history. Wolff is committed to contributing to the team's success and creating more history. Being on this team for many years is a big achievement. Wolff experienced many great moments, and there were also some not-so-beautiful ones.
Despite everything, Wolff emerged stronger from all the storms and never stopped believing in his team. Perhaps Toto could be a great example for individuals to never lose their optimism.
He wants to work with everyone in the team and stakeholders in Stuttgart. In a lighthearted way, he mentioned having another decade or two to achieve more success before jokingly being "overrun by a bus," indicating that he sees plenty of time for accomplishments in his career with Mercedes.
Mercedes is ready to return to the old paths of glory with George Russell and even Hamilton this season. Although he will leave the team at the end of the season, the Briton is ready to give his best and spoil the plans of his colleagues from other teams. It is difficult to know if Lewis can match Red Bull this season, given that F1 brings many unpredictable situations.
From 2025, Hamilton will have the opportunity to collaborate with Ferrari's team principal, Fred Vasseur. Vasseur is a person with extensive experience, and Wolff and he have a great relationship. Vasseur will be an important figure for Hamilton next year, considering that under his leadership, Hamilton will have the chance to learn a lot and make progress. Although many think that at 39 years old, his progress is over, regardless of age, you can always improve under the guidance of the right person.
“I’ve got great respect for Fred, not only as a racing manager but also as a long-time friend,” Wolff said.
“When he took the role at Ferrari it was clear that he needed to do the best he can for Ferrari and use the opportunity in order to do that."
Toto Wolff on Lewis Hamilton's departure and relationship with Fred Vasseur
Wolff doesn't believe that Hamilton's departure should disrupt the relationship between him and Vasseur. The respect that has existed for years cannot be tarnished. The F1 world is such that each team strives to progress, beat other teams, and be at the top.
Ferrari shares the same philosophy. The 2024 season will bring many thrills, but fans of this sport have even higher expectations for the 2025 season. It's too early to talk about the 2025 season, considering that we primarily need to follow the upcoming season and enjoy what we have to see.
“There is no bad feeling towards Fred and trying to get the best employees, the best drivers, so that has no effect on the relationship.
It is a tough competition, it is a cutthroat environment and as much as I try to do the best for our group, he will do that for Ferrari.”
Toto Wolff hopes that this season will be one of the best for his team. After the disappointments experienced in the last three years, Toto believes that 2024 could bring something positive with it.
The Red Bull team wants to consolidate its dominance and continue where it left off. It will be interesting to watch the 2024 season and see if Mercedes can match them.
Lewis Hamilton wants to spoil Max Verstappen's plans. His dominance from the last year has made other teams take this season much more seriously.