Toto Wolff joined Mercedes back in 2013. That was the same year when Lewis Hamilton joined the Silver Arrows. Since then, the F1 world has seen a tectonic shift as the German team became the most dominant team. Albeit, it is not the most dominating team anymore. Before Mercedes started ruling the grid, it was Red Bull who were enjoying hegemony. And it’s back with Red Bull yet again. Moreover, for Toto Wolff’s team, even luck did not help them a lot. Both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell had a few close finishes where they could win.
But the Red Bull’s speed was too hard to beat. Hence, Mercedes is trying to change the whole setup of the car from the last two seasons. They had a zero-side pod concept in the last couple of seasons. However, mid-way, the German team brought upgrades with new side pods. Although Lewis Hamilton said the car felt better, they couldn’t win any race. After all these struggles, there is a latest rumor saying, Toto Wolff might actually sell his shares of the German F1 team.
Why Toto Wolff Might Think It’s A Good Time To Sell Their Shares?
Recently, Craig Slater, during his commentary on Sky Sports F1 podcast, mentioned there is a pressing concern for F1 team owners about the future value of their investments. Adding to that, Slater said the team owners might also wonder if the success of the Netflix show Drive To Survive is sustainable. There’s a good chance that it might not be sustainable as it raises concern over the sport’s long-term financial peak. Moreover, the introduction of the new competitor, Andretti Cadillac, will change F1’s economic dynamic.
Hence, it may potentially incentivize team owners like Toto Wolff to sell their shares. Moreover, when Toto Wolff joined the team a decade ago, he made a substantial investment in the German F1 team. Since then, the investment has grown exponentially. Hence, a potential sale of a 33% Mercedes stake can be worth billions of Euros. Moreover, Slater explained that this information came to him from certain insiders, pretty well-placed. As per those insiders, some team owners wonder if the sport peaked and the time has come to kind of just sell out.
Mercedes Is Going Through A Downfall Period
At present, it is Red Bull who has the upper hand again. They have won back-to-back championships, and their star driver, Max Verstappen, has won three titles on the trot. On the other hand, Mercedes managed to win only a single race in the last two years. Moreover, Lewis Hamilton has been winless since the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. On top of that, the Brackley team’s car has been the center of their failure in the previous couple of seasons.
Hence, nothing is going right for the German team at present. Moreover, it looks highly unlikely for Mercedes to win a title when their rivals are at such top form. Red Bull won 21 races in 2023. The only race they didn’t win was when Ferrari emerged victorious after a tough competition from Mercedes and McLaren in Singapore.