Wolff “cannot imagine” a better place than Mercedes

Wolff joined Mercedes in 2013 and in his role as CEO and team principal has guided the works team to unprecedented success, with Mercedes winning six consecutive title doubles since 2014.

He has been linked with a move to help run F1, but suggested after the Abu Dhabi season finale that he would like to remain with Mercedes.

“There’s so many factors one needs to consider in your career,” said Wolff. “What actually makes you happy, and what gets you out of bed even on the difficult days?

“And for me, after eight years with the team, it is still the relationships within the team that give me a lot of strength. And at the moment, I cannot imagine any better place.”

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When Wolff moved to Mercedes the team was headed by Ross Brawn, Niki Lauda and Nick Fry, but Fry quickly exited and Brawn left at the end of the year.

Wolff said the shareholding he and Lauda shared had added a business element to his role that gave Mercedes a different dynamic to a traditional role at a rival team.

“The opportunity and the trust that was given to me in 2012, I will always honour that,” said Wolff. “I think for a company like Daimler to allow a shareholding from their managing partner Niki and myself is not something that came easily.

“The relationship has gone stronger since then, to the decision makers within the Daimler board, but also to many of the employees that have been part of our journey within Daimler.

“These relationships are something that fundamentally determine our life quality.

“If I’m given the freedom to continue to manage the team in an entrepreneurial way like they have so far, and I have no doubt that they will, it’s a place that is simply enjoyable from my side and also provides me with entrepreneurial opportunity.

“So I don’t see myself like a football manager that maybe does a three or five year stint and then need to reinvent himself in another team.

“It’s different here because of the the opportunity that was that was given to me as a shareholder.”

Wolff may manage his on-site presence next year as the F1 calendar increases to 22 grands prix for the first time, and even joked one race he would like to miss next season but would not name it because “it’s not politically correct”.

However, he said his absence from this year’s Brazilian Grand Prix, the first F1 race he has missed since he was a Williams chief in 2012, was not the start of a process to find his replacement.

At the time, it was explained as an opportunity for him to remain in Europe with both F1 titles secured, before flying to Saudi Arabia for Mercedes’ Formula E debut the week after Brazil.

“The experiment in Brazil was to find out that with a 22 race calendar [in 2019], what if I would choose some I will miss, and how it would be for other senior members of the team,” said Wolff.

“It is something that I always wanted to do and was strange for me because the relaxation factor was really high.

“The sport psychologist explained that with the fact that I knew that everybody else was working and I didn’t makes it double the enjoyment!

“But all of us play senior roles in the team and we need to be aware about the contribution we bring and if the contribution is important, then you need to do all the races. So I haven’t found the solution.”