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Wolff Dismisses Exodus Fears at Mercedes

Wolff Dismisses Exodus Fears at Mercedes

18/05/2024

Toto Wolff assures fans that Mercedes F1 remains strong despite key departures, emphasizing that new arrivals offset the losses.

Toto Wolff believes Mercedes F1 is in a “very good position” despite a number of key departures from the team.

Before the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, Ferrari confirmed the signings and start dates of Loic Serra and Jérôme D’Ambrosio from Mercedes.

The duo will officially begin in early October, with Serra appointed head of chassis performance engineering at Ferrari. D’Ambrosio will be the deputy team principal at Ferrari, right-hand man to Frédéric Vasseur.

Mercedes has already lost Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari for the 2025 season. However, the Brackley team is expected to survive without a massive exodus.

“Well, we are in a very good position because we have won eight consecutive championships and even though it has started to deteriorate.”

“It also partly depends on the human components and how it evolves now, some wanted to leave, others had to leave, at the same time we are adding newcomers and all this under the leadership of James Allison, who manages it so well.”

“He is such an inspiration to the team that I feel we are on a good upward trajectory with motivation, energy, and confidence. So I’m not worried, there is no exodus, the arrivals offset the departures.”

Mercedes is still deciding who will partner George Russell in 2025. The team hopes Max Verstappen will be available, but outside of Red Bull, Andrea Kimi Antonelli seems to be the preferred option. Antonelli is Mercedes’ junior driver, currently racing in F2.

Wolff hinted that Mercedes might have the Italian in the car next year, allowing the team to “shine even more” at Imola.

“In fact, I haven’t mentioned it because there are 100 million people watching every race and obviously many Italians here. I guess for the Italians, it’s super exciting to have Lewis Hamilton in red next year.”

“We will get used to this change of suit, but we need to look at our own team. There might be an option for us to shine even more with an Italian in our car.”

A successful dinner among team principals

The team principals gathered last night for a dinner, with the Austrian joking that “the knives were kept in pockets.”

The 10 team principals, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, and Pirelli’s motorsport director Mario Isola were present. The meal was organized by Domenicali, with Wolff seated between the former Ferrari boss and RB F1 CEO Peter Bayer.

The Mercedes team principal revealed before qualifying that there was some tension at the beginning of the meal, but everyone eventually relaxed and talked.

“Well, first of all, it was surprisingly fun. It was a bit tense at the beginning. I hadn’t planned to talk to everyone, but in the end, we spoke, and the knives were kept in the pockets.”

“And you know, Stefano said good things about how lucky we are to practice this sport and be involved. And so we had a good time, it was really nice to see.”

Wolff avoided sharing the topics discussed during the meal, though he revealed that “current times were barely mentioned.”

“I think we didn’t really spend much time talking about the current situation. But we agreed that we have never seen F1 as competitive as it is now among 10 teams.”

Wolff Dismisses Exodus Fears at Mercedes

Wolff Dismisses Exodus Fears at Mercedes. Wolff Dismisses Exodus Fears at Mercedes

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