SEPTEMBER 13, 2020
Mercedes quiet amid $900m F1 team buyout claims
Mercedes is refusing to comment on reports that its dominant works Formula 1 team is lining up an almost $900 million sale.
The latest speculation has been triggered by comments made by former F1 team boss Eddie Jordan, who thinks Mercedes will be bought by Ineos.
In February, Mercedes did a major sponsorship deal with the British chemicals company that is run by billionaire Jim Ratcliffe.
"The contract with Ineos is the cornerstone of our future plans for participation in Formula 1," team boss Toto Wolff said at the time.
Since then, rumours have swirled not only about the future of the Brackley based team, but that of its boss Wolff.
"I am still in a year of reflection," Wolff insisted at Mugello.
"Eight years as a team boss takes its toll, but I love this team and get on fantastically with Ola Kallenius. I think this is where I belong and you can be sure that I will be involved in one way or another."
"It is also important to make the right decision for me and my family," he added.
If Mercedes is negotiating a sale, and Wolff's position at the team will change, that would explain why Lewis Hamilton is yet to agree a new deal for 2021.
"We haven't looked at the contract for the last three years. We never took it out of the drawer," Wolff said when asked about Hamilton's expiring deal at Mugello.
"Sometimes situations and environments change and it is a time for another part of the journey that we want to do together."
So when asked when the Hamilton contract will finally be taken out of the drawer, Wolff added: "We are working on it, but I don't want to accept a certain deadline."
"We get along great, it just takes time to get all the details together. Currently we are one race after another, but there is a gap between Mugello and Sochi."
Meanwhile, when asked about the Ineos takeover rumours, a Mercedes spokesperson said: "We ask for your understanding that we don't comment on rumour and speculation."