Wolff committed to Mercedes despite investing in Aston Martin
London - Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has bought a stake worth about £37 million (R869m) in Aston Martin, the British sports car company that returns to the Formula One grid as a works team next year.
But a spokesman for Wolff has told Sportsmail that the Austrian is totally committed to remaining in charge of Mercedes - confirmation that makes six-time world champion Hamilton more likely to agree a new deal to stay.
Wolff’s stake in Aston is 4.77 percent, though that will be watered down next week.
Wolff’s spokesman said: "Fully diluted following the pending rights issue, this investment will represent a 0.95 percent stake in the company. It is a financial investment and Toto’s partnership and executive roles with Mercedes are unaffected by the transaction."
The move appears to have ended the intrigue which has swirled since his friend Lawrence Stroll, the Canadian fashion mogul, took over Aston earlier this year. Already the owner of Racing Point, Stroll has confirmed that the team will be rebranded Aston Martin for 2021.
Wolff, 48, was tipped by some observers - including former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone - as a possible Aston chief executive. The theory was given legs when Wolff missed a crucial F1 meeting last month while he travelled back from the cancelled Australian Grand Prix with Stroll.
But talks were going in a different direction, and as one F1 insider put it last night: "It is clear that Aston are now Mercedes’ B team." There is an apparent conflict of interest in Wolff having a toe in Aston Martin while running Mercedes F1, in whom he has a 30 percent slice.
But the waters are already blurred. For example, Mercedes supplies engines to Aston Martin road cars. And Mercedes’ parent company Daimler has a stake in the company.
Wolff’s investment was made with the blessing of the Daimler board in Stuttgart.Daily Mail