Remarkable news appeared in the Daily Mail on Sunday morning. The British medium reports that Ineos, the current sponsor of Mercedes, together with investor Jim Ratcliffe, are close to taking over Mercedes.
The parties are said to be paying some EUR 750 million for the deal, which will give them ownership of the team.
The news comes as a surprise, as Mercedes explicitly stated at the beginning of the current season that it had no intention of selling the team. However, it now seems that it will, as Ratcliffe and Ineos will own about 70% of the shares.
The British newspaper also describes the future role of Toto Wolff in the team. The Austrian would sell his shares in the team (about thirty percent, red) to Ineos, so the successful team boss would no longer be a shareholder of Mercedes AMG F1 Team. He will also relinquish his position as team boss, something he has already hinted at in recent weeks. Instead, Wolff will take on an advisory role, similar to that of Helmut Marko at Red Bull
Much remains unclear about the new name of the team for the time being. It is possible that the German automobile group, when selling the team, stipulated that the name ‘Mercedes’ would remain with the team for at least another two years, until 2022. It is said that the name ‘Ineos’ will also be added in 2021.
Several sources, including former Formula 1 team boss Eddie Jordan, confirm the news of the takeover. “It was a logical step because the Mercedes board wanted to put less money into the project and Ineos was already closely involved,” says Jordan, referring to the already existing sponsorship agreement of €110 million a year between Mercedes and the chemical company. “The team will be named after Ineos, but much remains the same. The team will ‘just’ operate from the Brackley plant”.
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THE NEXT RACE 2021
|02:00 - 03:30||Free practice 1|
|06:00 - 07:30||Free practice 2|
|04:00 - 05:00||Free practice 3|
|07:00 - 07:18||Qualifying|
|06:10 - 08:10||Race|