Toto Wolff on the impact of Lewis Hamilton's departure on Mercedes' business

"Formula One team like Mercedes, we need to have our own identity and we always will have in the future."- Wolff said.

by Sead Dedovic
Toto Wolff on the impact of Lewis Hamilton's departure on Mercedes' business
© Pool / Getty Images Sport

The departure of Lewis Hamilton could spoil the plans of the Mercedes leaders in the future. Mercedes is currently one of the biggest F1 brands. 

Having a driver like Lewis Hamilton brings many things with it. From a business perspective, Lewis is, according to many, the most popular driver. 

F1 experts believe that Mercedes could experience big losses due to the departure of the Briton. In an interview with the media, Toto Wolff confirmed his view that with the departure of Hamilton, Mercedes will experience sponsorship losses.

Certainly, Mercedes is a team that has achieved great success, so his departure should not significantly impact them. Wolff believes that for Mercedes, being number 1 comes first, and only then the driver.

“Absolutely, Lewis stands for much more than just a racing driver,” Wolff said, as quoted by

“And he's a global phenomenon.

And it's clear that at first sight, when you look at it, you're going to miss a bit after 24. You're going to miss that part.

But the Formula One team like Mercedes, we need to have our own identity and we always will have in the future.

We hope to be part of the career of many young drivers and successful drivers going forward.

And we will look back with a warm heart of how fantastic that journey was, and how we've grown together.”

When people think about Mercedes, the first name that often comes to mind is Lewis Hamilton. Considering how long he has been a part of this team, and the successes he has made, it is hard to imagine this team without him. Mercedes CEO emphasizes that F1 is based on adaptability. If you really aspire to great things, it is imperative that you adapt, no matter what happens.

“I think Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes is basically the same story because we've been together for 12 years,” he said.

But the team – we continue to be the same shareholders, I continue to run it.

We have a very exciting... George Russell was basically going toe to toe with Lewis last year.

So you know, you just got to adapt. Our sport is about adaptability, like in any other business, and that's something that's the lessons that I’ve tried to pass over when talking about high performance and management under pressure.”

Toto Wolff on Mercedes' success

Toto Wolff underscores the team's identity and success over the past decade with Hamilton, stressing their aim to continue winning races and championships. 

Looking at the last 10 years, Mercedes is the most successful team in F1. The dominance they had with Lewis Hamilton is something to be talked about in the future. However, every era has its end. Red Bull has been dominant for the last three years. Wolff intends to change that this season. Many are asking themselves whether Hamilton and Russell can surprise this season?!

Toto Wolff
Toto Wolff© Getty Images Sport

Looking forward to 2024, Wolff emphasizes the need to identify a dream lineup for the next generation of drivers, ensuring the team's sustained success.  Mercedes will have to find a replacement for Hamilton soon. Aware that it will be a difficult task, Wolff emphasizes that it takes some time to determine who is the best option for them.

He mentions the importance of making natural transitions, reflecting on the past, and making the right decisions for the team's future performance. The overall focus is on maintaining a winning position and championship contention for the years to come. 

F1 teams this season have a great motive to stop Red Bull. If Max Verstappen shows similar performances as last season, hardly anyone besides him will have a chance to win the title. It is too early to make predictions, considering that every season brings something new with it.

Wolff is talking about Hamilton possibly moving to Ferrari during a tough time for Mercedes. He's saying that Formula One, which is owned by Liberty Media, is not just about the races. 

It's like a year-round reality show with drama on and off the track. Wolff had a chat with Greg Maffei from Liberty, who mentioned that even during the off-season, there's still interesting stuff happening. 

F1 has come a long way in the last few years. Great credit also goes to Netflix, which created the great documentary 'Drive to Survive'. Even those who had no contact with F1 understood what F1 is and what excitement it brings through this documentary.

Wolff believes that Formula One is full of surprises, making it exciting both in races and in the stories that unfold behind the scenes. 

And this season could be one of the exciting ones, at least that's what the fans expect.

“And Formula One is always good for surprises. It's the core, the essence of what we do and on track and off track.”

Toto Wolff Lewis Hamilton Mercedes