Toto Wolff has divulged how the business aspect of the Mercedes F1 team will manage following Lewis Hamilton’s departure.
In addition to securing six of his seven F1 championships and boasting more grand prix wins than any other driver, Hamilton has brought financial benefits to Mercedes through his renown and personal brand.
Mercedes are not only bidding farewell to the greatest F1 driver of all time but also one of the most financially rewarding.
Team principal and co-owner Wolff, when asked by CNBC about the potential impact of Hamilton’s departure on sponsorships and merchandise sales when he joins Ferrari, stated, “Absolutely, Lewis stands for much more than just a racing driver.
And he’s a global phenomenon. And it’s clear that at first sight, when you look at it, you’re going to miss a bit after 24. You’re going to miss that part.”
Wolff also expressed confidence in Mercedes’ ability to maintain its identity in the absence of Hamilton, stating, “But the Formula One team like Mercedes, we need to have our own identity and we always will have in the future.
We hope to be part of the career of many young drivers and successful drivers going forward.
And we will look back with a warm heart of how fantastic that journey was, and how we’ve grown together.”
Regarding what Wolff is conveying to Mercedes’ high-value brand partners currently, he remarked, “I think Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes is basically the same story because we’ve been together for 12 years…
“Our sport is about adaptability, like in any other business, and that’s something that’s the lessons that I’ve tried to pass over when talking about high performance and management under pressure.”
As the last year of Mercedes’ partnership with Hamilton unfolds, Wolff, whose management skills will be put to the test, emphasised, “I think it’s important to remember that we’re the Mercedes Formula One team… And now it’s about to identify what’s going to be the next step beyond 2024.”