In a shock move, Mercedes sponsor and partner Ineos has made a 700 million Euro for a 70 per cent stake in the Mercedes F1 team. This was reported by the Daily Mail. Ineos is one of the world's largest chemical producers and has a deal with Mercedes for five years. It is owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
Mercedes has been the most successful Formula One team of the last decade with it winning the constructor's world championships 6 times in a row. In fact, only a Mercedes driver has won the drivers title in the last six years. Lewis Hamilton has won 5 of his 6 world crowns with Mercedes during this period, while Nico Rosberg won the crown in 2016 before retiring from the sport.
The Daily Mail quotes former Jordon team owner Eddie Jordon who is a well-connected figure in the F1 paddock. "The ownership of the team is going to be taken over by Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Ineos," Jordan told the British tabloid. He also said this a marriage which will work well as the Ineos logo is already on the car and the same team factory based in Brackley will run the show. Mercedes will even retain a 30 per cent stake in the team said the former F1 team owner.
Shockingly, this also represents a huge change as Jordon indicates Toto Wolff will not be in charge anymore and the Mercedes name will be replaced by the Ineos name. "It will not be known as Mercedes any more and Toto Wolff, the team principal, will no longer be in charge," said Jordon.
This comes with the backdrop of Mercedes signing the Concorde agreement for its future participation in the Formula One world championship. The Concorde agreement doesn't prevent a change in ownership of the Mercedes F1 team. Jordon also notes that for Wolffe doesn't have much to achieve as his legendary status in the sport is already established considering the run Mercedes have had. He will always be recognised as one of the all-time great time principals alongside Jean Todt, Ron Dennis and Sir Frank Williams.
Wolffe also is an investor in the Aston Martin team which has just signed Sebastian Vettel. This is interesting as defending world champion and the current leader of the world championship, Lewis Hamilton has also not yet renewed his contract with the silver arrows.