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Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda renew Mercedes F1 contracts – pair sign to the end of 2020

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Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda renew Mercedes F1 contracts – pair sign to the end of 2020
Feb 20, 2017, 10:25 AM

Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda have both signed new contracts with the Mercedes Formula 1 team that run until the end of the 2020 season, it was announc...

Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda have both signed new contracts with the Mercedes Formula 1 team that run until the end of the 2020 season, it was announced today.

The pair joined forces at Mercedes at the start of the 2013 season – although Lauda had been working for the team since the end of the previous year – and have since enjoyed a highly successful period in charge of the team since it began its period of F1 dominance in 2014.

Wolff, who is the Brackley-based team’s executive director alongside his role as boss of Mercedes’ wider motorsport programme, has a 30 per cent stake in the F1 team, which he now fully responsible for running after sharing duties with the squad’s former technical boss Paddy Lowe, who left in January.

 Toto Wolff Niki Lauda

Speaking as the news of the new contracts was announced, Wolff said: "Winning is never down to single individuals - it is about the right group of people coming together, aligning themselves with a common objective and then combining their talents to achieve that target.

“Each day I come to the factory, I am humbled to have the privilege of representing this inspiring group of people."

Lauda, who is Mercedes’ non-executive chairman, described his partnership with Wolff as “perfect”.

Dieter Zetsche Toto Wolff Niki Lauda

He said: "The last few years have been some of the most enjoyable I have had in Formula One. Toto and I formed a perfect partnership at Mercedes and we have a great team on every level that has delivered results. I must thank Dieter and the other members of the board of Daimler AG for renewing their confidence in us."

Dr Dieter Zetsche, the chairman and CEO of Mercedes’ owner Daimler AG, praised Wolff and Lauda’s relationship and highlighted the importance of continuity at the team, which is attempting to win a fourth successive double of F1 drivers’ and constructors’ championships.

He said: "It's great news that Toto and Niki have extended their agreements. In 2013, we restructured the management of the team with the clear goal of improving our performance.

“Since then, however, the results have exceeded our expectations. A key factor in this success has been the combination of Toto's entrepreneurial skills and Niki's experience. Their renewed commitment gives our programme important continuity for the next four years."

Lewis Hamilton

The new contracts signed by Wolff and Lauda will keep them at Mercedes at least until the end of 2020, which is set to be a crucial season for the future of F1.

The championship’s current commercial deals are set to expire at the end of that year and there will significant discussions over costs, new financial deals, and future technology developments with F1’s new commercial rights holder, Liberty Media.

The contracts of senior staff at F1 teams are usually linked and so it is likely that another dozen or more of Mercedes’ managers and engineers will have been renewed alongside Wolff and Lauda.

The team recently announced that former Lotus and Ferrari technical director James Allison will come on-board later this year and its 2017 car, the W08, will be unveiled at Silverstone on Thursday.

What do you make of Wolff and Lauda signing new deals at Mercedes? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JA on F1 Facebook page for more discussion.
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