Toto Wolff, Mercedes , Monaco, 2023

Wolff extends Mercedes F1 contract to 2026

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Mercedes Formula 1 CEO, team principal and one-third owner Toto Wolff has extended his contract with them.

The new deal will see Wolff remain in his executive position until at least the end of the 2026 season. This will be the first year under F1’s next set of technical regulations, including a revised engine formula and new chassis rules which are still under discussion.

Wolff joined Mercedes from Williams in 2013 and in the following years oversaw a period of sustained success unmatched by any other F1 team. From 2014 Mercedes won eight consecutive constructors’ championships and its drivers won seven titles in a row.

Their run of success was ended by Red Bull. Mercedes has only scored a single grand prix victory in the two years since F1’s last major rules change and its star driver Lewis Hamilton has been win-less during that time.

Since 2020 Wolf has owned one-third of the team, along with Mercedes parent company Daimler and petrochemicals manufacturer Ineos. Wolff said discussions about extending his role between him, Mercedes chairman Ola Kallenius and Ineos CEO Jim Ratcliffe had been straightforward.

“I think the most important thing between the three of us is that we trust each other,” Wolff told The Telegraph. “At the end of the day, as a shareholder myself, I want the best return on investment and the best return on investment is winning.

“I’m not going to try to hang on to a position that I think somebody is going to do better than me. I make sure that I have people around who can tell me otherwise. In the end the three of us decided: ‘Let’s do it again’.”

Wolff is hopeful his team will be able to turn around their recent slump this year. “I think the regulations, how they were laid out a few years ago, we interpreted them in a very conservative way,” he said. “And we’ve seen other teams doing it differently. So watch this space. I think it’s going to be very different.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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23 comments on “Wolff extends Mercedes F1 contract to 2026”

  1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    15th January 2024, 11:59

    Hopefully they continue their backwards trend.

    1. Ahah, really not a mercedes fan!

      1. Amazes why and just how many there are. The reason is why? Successful business man, well spoken, polite , yes super competitive, and a politician in F1 garbs if ever there was one. You’d think envy maybe?

        1. Wolff has a rather obnoxious insidious side, too. It often helps him get his way, which I’m sure people at the team appreciate, but it’s also something that will obviously rub others the wrong way. Do others also get up to similar shenanigans? Sure, but probably not to the same degree. Horner tries, but he’s not quite as clever. Although he did get the other teams to submit to a ridiculous engine freeze with the old ‘oh no Honda is leaving’ trick.

          1. Let me see now Wolff is worse than Horner. That is saying something. Has Toto ever threatened to leave the sport if he does not get his way, or lobby to get the rules changed mid season, a change which favoured his team, or again threatening to leave if the engine rules were not frozen whuch also has benefited his team alone. Who is better or worse is clearly in the eye of the beholder.

          2. I also prefer horner, wolff in his dominant period for example kept downplaying his team’s strength and making comments of the likes that winning will be difficult, stuff like that, despite them having 30 sec margin in races, instead horner has been more honest in general, even in the dominant period.

        2. I also don’t like mercedes cause they were very obnoxious in their dominant years, however nowadays a competitive mercedes would be a good thing, as I don’t think any other team could realistically challenge red bull over a full season.

          1. For me it was this, added with the off track politics, starting way back leading to their engine advantage. Then their 2021 campaign with the successful in season tire change hugely benefitting the rear end of the car, basically bringing them back into contention. Flex wings. Misuse of the spirit of the engine regulation. Plus the endlessly staged PR attack on their competitor after 8 years of dominance in which they claimed to welcome more competition.

            I was so negatively surprised by this as they could have taken the high ground and behave as a worthy reigning superchamp that in fact did win the WCC that year (for the 8th time in a row, which is something to be incredibly proud off!) but totally missed to capitalize on this despite being part of a much larger global company with many more employees than just their F1 team. It showed questionnable leadership.

  2. still has more WCCs than Christian :)

    1. And Williams still have more than both… :)

  3. I don’t like how Wolff touts his own horn here, claiming that no one can do any better, even as Mercedes has wasted two years on a mediocre design. One way or the other this was a mistake by Wolff, perhaps by appointing Mike Elliott to the CTO role, which was undone in 2023, yet I see no self-criticism.

    I get the sense that Mercedes has lost its way a bit since Niki Lauda died. Wolff has a very powerful personality, to the point where few people dare stand up to him. Is there anyone left to do this now that they’ve lost Lauda, or will Wolff become convinced that he is perfect due to a total lack of pushback from within, so mistakes take too long to correct?

    RB has Helmut Marko, who also has a personality that is harder than diamond and who surely doesn’t let himself be intimidated by Horner at all. Wolff seems convinced that he gets enough pushback from those around him, but is that actually true?

    1. Coventry Climax
      15th January 2024, 19:03

      I don’t like how Wolff

      My reply would have likely just ended there. And without the word ‘how’.

      Still, agree with much of the other stuff you’re saying.
      Just look at the Brackley expansion article; the way he sells advantages to himself as advantages for the common good reminds me of a certain fraudulent american businessman posing as politician, with a last name that’s also used in a deck of cards. Unfortunately, because he bears all the symptoms of it, that’s not the card that starts with a ‘J’.

  4. Coventry Climax
    15th January 2024, 18:52

    Their run of success was ended by Red Bull.

    Sure, blame someone else for your own failures.

    If you do want to put the blame on someone else and twist reality, then technically, it was a certain race director of a certain organisation that jointly couldn’t make their minds up on a consistent set of rules and penalties during a season, but even so, Mercedes could also have simply done a better job where a couple of points at the end of a season wouldn’t have mattered.

    1. Sure, blame Wolff for words chosen by a journo.

    2. Yes, and if they really want to find someone to blame, there’s always latifi, it was him triggering the SC which put mercedes in a difficult position, with a needless mistake at the last race of his career.

    3. And while not fighting for points either.

  5. Toto took over Mercedes when they were on the up as a team, and when there was no limit on spending. They maintained there dominant position for years by spending the money required to do so. When the spending cap came in, their dominance fell away. They will come back, but this time they will need to think smarter, not spend more as has been the case in the past.

    1. I think that’s just a coincidence, or at least, red bull were spending almost as much as mercedes, ferrari more than mercedes, with nothing to show for it, so while this might have hindered mercedes, it’s not only them being affected and not them who benefitted more from higher spendings.

  6. “Shareholder in F1 team extends contract with himself” should be the title.

    1. The only reason it took as long as it did was because Wolff had to keep walking round to sit at the opposite side of the negotiating table.

  7. anybody thinking ‘wow Toto’s not very popular’ needs to know that pretty much all the other accounts in here are the same person. lol

  8. They’ll also be extending the length of his headphone cord so he can throw it further…

    1. Coventry Climax
      17th January 2024, 1:36

      That won’t be necessary, as the trajectory of it is usually straight from the head to the desktop.

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