Mercedes chief Wolff buys stake in Aston Martin
Mercedes F1 chief Toto Wolff has purchased shares in Aston Martin Lagonda, the iconic British automotive brand which will return to the F1 grid next year with the rebranded Racing Point team.
Wolff has been at the helm as Mercedes have dominated F1 in the turbo hybrid era by sweeping the board with six successive drivers’ and constructors’ championship doubles.
On Friday, it was revealed in regulatory documents released by Aston Martin Lagonda that Wolff had purchased a 4.77% stake in Aston Martin.
That will be diluted to 0.95% on Monday following a rights issue by the manufacturer to raise capital in a bid to turn the company’s fortunes around.
It therefore means Wolff becomes a private investor in Aston Martin, joining Mercedes parent company Daimler which has been a long term shareholder in the brand.
A Mercedes spokesperson said: "Fully diluted following the pending rights issue on Monday, this investment will represent a 0.95% stake in the company.
“It is a financial investment and Toto's partnership and executive role with Mercedes are unaffected by the transaction."
Lawrence Barretto [Senior writer, F1.com] says…
Toto Wolff is a shrewd businessman, the Austrian having made a series of strategic investments over the last two decades, including previously being a shareholder of the Williams F1 team.
His friendship with Lawrence Stroll, who heads the consortium that heavily invested in Aston Martin and which bought the Racing Point F1 team that will be rebranded Aston Martin F1 in 2021, is well known.
So Wolff’s investment in Aston Martin should not be a surprise and means, as of next year when Aston Martin enter as a works team, he will be privately invested in two Formula 1 teams.
It also increases the links between Mercedes and Racing Point, a team which already has a close technical relationship with Mercedes in receiving power units and other parts including the Silver Arrows’ gearbox.
This has been positioned as a pure financial investment, which will have no impact on his role and partnership with Mercedes, with the Austrian expected to stay with Mercedes beyond the end of the season.
As a result, this increases the likelihood of the reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton signing a new deal that would keep him at the team beyond the end of the year.