JANUARY 20, 2020
Stroll, Wolff, eye Mercedes team takeover says report
Lawrence Stroll and Toto Wolff could be planning to take over the Mercedes works team from 2021, according to veteran German correspondent Ralf Bach.
The report, published on Bach's website f1-insider.com, says team boss Wolff had actually negotiated a deal to replace Chase Carey at Liberty Media.
But Ferrari vetoed that plan, demanding that Wolff spend at least three years on 'gardening leave'.
And so he changed direction, instead teaming up with Racing Point owner Stroll to take over the Brackley based team that has won every world championship since 2014.
Billionaire Stroll, whose son Lance drives for Racing Point, has been linked with a $260 million takeover of the British carmaker Aston Martin.
It had been rumoured that Aston Martin, currently Red Bull's title sponsor, could therefore become Racing Point's new identity from 2021.
But Bach claims that Stroll and Wolff are instead plotting to re-brand Mercedes as Aston Martin.
"Toto wants to be prepared if Mercedes gets out (of Formula 1) and acts only as an engine manufacturer," former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said.
"The fact that Mercedes has not yet signed the new Concorde Agreement for 2021 onwards is strange," he added.
"But why should Mercedes continue to spend so much money when they've already won everything? In terms of image, the group is completely satisfied with marketing the hybrid engines."