Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has hit-out at the continued speculation over his future with the team, suggesting that reports have been blown way out of proportion.
With his contract up at the end of the 2020 Formula 1 season, rumours have circulated that difficulties with new Daimler boss Ola Källenius and a close friendship with Lawrence Stroll are pushing him towards joining the latter at Aston Martin.
And yet despite having already denied a switch was in the works on multiple occasions, Wolff has moved to further clarify his current position.
“I’m not going to become CEO of Aston Martin, and I’m not going to make a strategic investment there either,”he told Austrian newspaper Osterreich.
“I’m in the eighth year [at Mercedes] now. I love sports and this team. However, I am somewhat surprised by the turn of events over the winter and by the behaviour of individual people.
“Of course, this also has to do with my decision on what to do in 2020 and beyond. But I am and will remain the head of Mercedes Motorsport and F1 boss, and nothing will change in the short term.
“In most stories that could be read about it, people added up 1 and 1 and turned it into 3,” he said. “What is my current status? My participation in Mercedes is solid, my contract runs until the end of 2020, and we are still in good discussions about what we want to do together.
“We are discussing. But all of this has been pushed into the background by corona. We all have bigger problems to solve now — human problems in our companies.”
At the same time, Wolff acknowledges he has close links to Stroll, even if they aren’t what some are making them out to be.
“Stroll and his team are a big customer of our racing team,” he explained. “They purchase engines, gearboxes and suspension parts from Mercedes.
“In addition, Lawrence has been a good friend of mine for many years, regardless of our business relationships.”
Interestingly, Wolff’s comments still don’t rule-out the possibility of a personal financial investment in Aston Martin, which is one way the reports could still come to fruition.