Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has shot-down speculation he is set to become CEO of Aston Martin, despite reports linking him with the Lawrence Stroll-owned company in the past few weeks.
Having led Mercedes to six-straight driver’s and constructor’s championship doubles, reports have increased in the last two weeks that Wolff is on the verge of making the switch from the pitwall to the boardroom to lead the floundering British marque, which is in the process of being taken-over by Lawrence Stroll.
Out-of-contract at the end of the 2020 season, Wolff had previously been tipped to take-on a management role with Formula 1 itself, although that idea seems to have fallen by the wayside with Ferrari reportedly opposing such a move.
In any case, the reports have presented a number of indicators that Wolff is considering leaving, including his close relationship with Stroll, his fractured relationship with Daimler chief Ola Källenius, and his decision to have technical director James Allison represent Mercedes in the crisis talks that postponed the next-gen regulations to 2022.
However, now Wolff has moved to deny a switch is happening, telling motorsport-total.com that “the story is not true, I am not going to be the CEO of Aston Martin” — although the particulars of his response have only increased speculation.
As motorsport-total editor-in-chief Christian Nimmervoll explains, it still leaves open the possibility of Wolff moving to Aston as an investor, while the timing of his response indicated that he is currently residing somewhere in Asia — believed to be the Maldives — and therefore, away from the rest of his team.
Additionally, Wolff’s status throws up further question marks about the fate of Lewis Hamilton at the Silver Arrows, as Hamilton is known to be a big supporter of his boss, and should Källenius be looking to cut costs by jettisoning Wolff, it is believed the six-time champion and his significant salary demands could follow.