Toto Wolff On a Very Strong Contender for Mercedes Seat in 2025

"I want to see how his F2 season develops, but we will wait and see what happens with some of the other drivers in F1."

by Sead Dedovic
Toto Wolff On a Very Strong Contender for Mercedes Seat in 2025
© Bill Murray/Getty Images Sport

Mercedes is considering options regarding the future, given that Lewis Hamilton is leaving the team from the next season and joining Ferrari. For weeks, there has been talk of potential successors to Hamilton. Several names are mentioned, but ultimately only one will succeed. 

Mercedes is far from its goals this season as well and does not want the same scenario to repeat next season. One of the options for this great team is Kimi Antonelli

This young driver who is still part of F2 has ambitions to prove himself this season, but it is difficult to assess whether Mercedes executives will indeed hire him. Toto Wolff has emphasized that Antonelli is one of the main candidates for a place in Mercedes. 

The Mercedes boss wants to see how the situation develops this season and assess whether this young driver truly deserves a place in Mercedes. Wolff stresses that Antonelli has tremendous potential, but it is necessary to be patient with him and see which direction he will go. Wolff expects that Kimi can make the necessary step.

“He's definitely a very strong contender," Wolff told Xinhua, as quoted by Racingnews365

"I want to see how his F2 season develops, but we will wait and see what happens with some of the other drivers in F1. I don't doubt his raw speed, talent and ability.

We wouldn't have supported him from go-karting until now if we didn't believe that he has the potential to go into F1 and do so with Mercedes.

Many young drivers have shown in the past that you can do that step."

Wolff explained that he currently feels it's unnecessary to rush the decision because Kimi is a strong contender for next year's plans. He emphasized that they don't need to rush into any other decisions since Kimi is in a strong position. Despite knowing that other top drivers will be making decisions soon, Wolff senses that it's best not to rush into a conclusion.

Mercedes is a team with serious intentions, so they want to carefully consider their options for the future. Lewis Hamilton is a driver who has made history with them, and it was hard to expect that he would actually make such a move. Nevertheless, every adventure has its end, so Mercedes executives knew they had to think about the future. Antonelli was seen as an investment in the future. Some believe it's too early for this young driver to secure a place in a team like Mercedes, especially since he hasn't impressed with his performances in F2.

Mercedes is a team that has achieved tremendous success with Wolff at the helm. Toto Wolff's arrival at the team in 2013 signified Mercedes' dominance until 2021. They managed to win seven titles from 2014 to 2020. Lewis Hamilton claimed six of them, while Nico Rosberg won one. Wolff was one of the key figures behind Mercedes' success. The Mercedes team principal admitted to considering abandoning the project in 2020. At the last moment, he realized he wanted to operate in the F1 scene differently.

Toto Wolff
Toto Wolff© Clive Rose/Getty Images Sport

However, a notable shift occurred in his thinking regarding his investment strategy. Previously, he had followed a model of buying and selling shares akin to investments in the finance industry. Yet, in 2020, he reached a new conclusion: he decided to retain his involvement in the team.

This marked a huge change in his approach to business. Instead of sticking to his former strategy of buying, developing, and selling, he adopted a new perspective: buy, develop, and keep. It was a crucial moment that signaled a departure from his previous mindset.

It took him a year to fully embrace this change. He realized that he no longer desired to return to the financial industry where he had spent 25 years pursuing such investments. Instead, he aspired to become a genuine entrepreneur, committed to maintaining his involvement in the team indefinitely. 

Toto Wolff and his contracts

The Mercedes boss admitted to extending his contract on three occasions. In 2020, he wasn't sure if it would be a wise move, but at the last moment, he realized he wanted to continue his work in the F1 scene. 

Wolff is now faced with the difficult task of choosing who will drive for Mercedes in the 2025 season. In addition to Antonelli, there is increasing talk about Sainz and Vettel as options. The situation has escalated to the point where some mention Verstappen as one of the team's options. The Dutchman is somewhat of an unrealistic option, it must be admitted, but no outcome should surprise us. 

Wolff spoke about his first term and the desire for Mercedes to become a financially successful team, as well as successful in terms of achievements in the F1 scene. They now have a somewhat different mentality, aiming for different things. He believes that being part of this team is his dream, and sometimes he is surprised by the opportunities that life presents him. This is also one of his motivations to make Mercedes a respectable team that will succeed in the F1 scene.

Toto Wolff Mercedes