Merc F1 Boss Toto Wolff Buys Stake In Aston Martin
Hot on the heels of news that a consortium led by Racing Point F1 Team Owner Lawrence Stroll has invested more than £262 million (around $326 million USD) into Aston Martin Lagonda, Mercedes-AMG F1 team boss Toto Wolff has apparently bought a stake in the beleaguered British carmaker as well.
Reports circulating suggest that Wolff, who helmed all six of Mercedes-AMG F1’s consecutive Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships from 2014 to 2019, has acquired more than 14 million shares, just part of the massive fundraising operation now underway at Gaydon.
Following news of Stroll’s investment, it later emerged that Aston Martin was looking to raise upwards of £536 million ($667 million USD, plus change) as part of a massive fundraising program to continue operations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Aston Martin also confirmed that Stroll would step in as the brand’s new executive chairman, replacing the outgoing Penny Hughes.
A Mercedes spokesman, speaking with The Race, explained of Toto Wolff’s investment, “fully diluted following the pending rights issue on Monday, this investment will represent a 0.95 per cent stake in the company.”
Links between Mercedes and Racing Point F1 are nothing new, of course. Germany’s three rings have supplied customer engines to the former Force India team since 2009, and the similarities between Racing Point’s ‘brand new’ RP20 for 2020 and Mercedes F1’s championship-winning F1 W10 EQ Power+ from last year has not gone unnoticed. The powertrain collaboration is set to continue until at least the end of 2020, and, given Aston Martin’s close ties with Daimler, potentially into the Silverstone-based team’s rebranding as Aston Martin Racing from 2021 onwards, though this has yet to be confirmed.
The news has also fuelled the latest of myriad speculations regarding Wolff’s future with both Mercedes-AMG and within Formula 1 itself. Speculation, unfounded admittedly, suggests that the Mercedes team boss could even take up an operational role with Aston Martin.
However, the unnamed Mercedes spokesperson also explained that “it is a financial investment and Toto’s partnership and executive role with Mercedes are unaffected by the transaction”.
*Images courtesy of Mercedes-AMG and Racing Point F1