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Szafnauer sees no Aston Martin role for Wolff in 2021

  • Published on 02 Apr 2020 11:31
  • comments 7
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer says he does not expect Toto Wolff to join Aston Martin in 2021.

Wolff, who has overseen Mercedes' success throughout Formula 1's turbo-hybrid era, has been linked to the team that will take over from Racing Point next year.

On Wednesday, the change of team was made official for 2021 following investment in Aston Martin from team owner Lawrence Stroll, who saved Racing Point (then called Force India) from administration in August 2018.

However, Szafnauer expects Wolff to stay at Mercedes next year and attempt to continue to lead the team through its current success period, in which it has amassed six consecutive drivers' and constructors' championships.

“It's not really for me to say, that's more of a question for Toto,” Szafnauer told Sky F1. “But if you're asking me to guess, Toto this year and next year will be running Mercedes and trying to make history by winning another world championship.

“That's what he's focusing on. At all but one of the team principal meetings, he's participated. He'll be at the next one next Friday, so I don't see him doing other than that.”

Szafnauer hoping for largely unchanged cars in 2021

There were concerns that the season delay due to the coronavirus pandemic could setback Aston Martin's return as a works team in F1.

However, Szafnauer says that he expects only the introduction of regulations will see delays. F1's revamped technical regulations that were set to come into play in 2021 have been pushed back for another year.

F1 teams are set to meet on Friday to talk about the 2021 cars, with Szafnauer hoping that the cars remain largely unchanged, which will save costs.

“I think this delay will only have an impact on sporting regulations, perhaps some technical regulations, carrying the cars over - we've got to define what that means, what parts of the car do we carry over and what parts can be developed,” he said.

“I think that will probably happen in the next week, we'll have an idea of what the cars are going to look like in 2021 that we're going to race. 

“But I hope they look like the cars that we produce now so that we save all the cost of developing a new car.

“That's going to be very crucial for a lot of the teams, especially the smaller teams, when the revenue isn't the same that we thought it was going to be. We've got to make sure the costs aren't either.”

Replies (7)

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  • Toto is also co-owner of Mercedes and I doubt that would be on the table at RP/Aston Martin - Stroll doesn't need co-investors would be my guess? On the flip side a change is as good as a rest - it's not inconceivable he could swap for these reasons and what better time to bow out of Mercedes? Any news of Hamilton signing for another 24 months will probably be indicative of Wolf staying put.

    • + 0
    • Apr 2 2020 - 14:08
    • Toto invested in the Mercedes F1 team, not Daimler AG ( parent of Mercedes ). If Mercedes chooses to pull out of F1 ( due to poor economic outlook ), he could buy the rest of the team ( ~70% shares ) from Mercedes or sell his part of shares too if there is an interested party looking to invest half a billion dollars. It's pretty hard to get out of F1 business now especially for individuals.

      • + 0
      • Apr 2 2020 - 17:32
    • RogerF1

      Posts: 501

      I think it’s a very valid point regarding Merc’s predicament or for that matter any other OEM team. They are becoming horrendously cash strapped from global sales collapse and zero production coupled with the shift to EV investments. It’s been a long held concern of mine that Merc especially will one day look at the commercial returns - car sales - and think Hmmmm. Now is the time to go, no races and new regs investment postponed.

      • + 0
      • Apr 2 2020 - 22:06
  • Dert38

    Posts: 354

    corona got aston... (((((((

    • + 0
    • Apr 2 2020 - 18:59
  • Sadtomato

    Posts: 48

    Toto is far too smart to jump onto a sinking ship like Aston Martin!

    • + 0
    • Apr 3 2020 - 16:38
    • AM may perform poorly during a recession, its no sinking ship. But, the brand has certain value, companies like TATA, Tencent, even one of the big 5 of auto( especially Toyota ) would like to acquire it, albeit at a reasonable price perhaps.

      • + 1
      • Apr 3 2020 - 17:25
  • Ottmar would have spooked at the question. He will automatically loose the job, should Toto choose to accept the job.

    • + 0
    • Apr 3 2020 - 17:26

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