Wolff held discussions about becoming new F1 boss
By Mat Coch
Wednesday 30th September, 2020 - 10:15am
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has revealed he had preliminary discussions about becoming CEO of Formula 1.
The American’s departure from the sport had been long expected, with Wolff and Christian Horner among those touted as possible replacements.
While Wolff says he didn’t ultimately make himself available for the role, he did admit to having discussions with Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei.
“I think everybody knows that there were some initial discussions with Greg and it never went anywhere,” he told the F1 Nation podcast.
“I think we get along well.
“I respect Greg Maffei a lot for what he has achieved but I love where I am and I found out that I love the stopwatch, so much, the competition and the racing, that where I am today, co-owner of the team with Mercedes – I have to pinch myself every day.
“It wouldn’t have gone anywhere anyway because Ferrari wouldn’t have accepted that,” he added, alluding to Ferrari’s right to veto such an appointment.
“That’s OK. They have this right and if you have that right it’s very easy to (veto). I respected it. Absolutely.
“I would have probably had the same thoughts.”
The appointment of Domenicali from Lamborghini is a positive one for the sport, Wolff suggested.
“I think Stefano is a foremost a man with a great personality, integrity, and knowledge of the sport,” he said.
“He has been a sporting director, a team principal, has gone through difficult times and through successful times.
“(He) has been involved in the Audi Formula 1 project for a while, and at the end was the guy that led Lamborghini to tremendous performances – financial performances – and also, honestly, the cars are great.
“I think he’s a very, very good choice for the role.
“Our first proper encounter was in Monaco (2013), where he protested us for tyregate,” he added.
“I’m still laughing with him about that.
“Not sure he’s my friend actually; his first action was protesting us.
“Since then we’ve had a very good relationship simply because of his personality.”
In recent weeks much has been speculated of Wolff’s own future with his Team Principal contract up for renewal come year’s end.
The Austrian is a shareholder in the Mercedes F1 team, his Motorsport Invest company owning 30 percent of the operation.
“It’s not only about extending an employment contract – I am co-owner and co-shareholder with Daimler – it’s about finding out how we want to shape the team going forward,” he explained.
“And Olla Kallenius (Daimler chairman) and I are completely aligned.
“It just needs to be put down on paper.”