BREAKING: Wolff, Ineos and Mercedes become equal partners in Formula 1 team
Toto Wolff and INEOS have increased their stake in the Mercedes Formula 1 team to become equal partners alongside parent company Daimler.
INEOS, under the leadership of billionaire entrepreneur Sir Jim Ratcliffe, became a principal partner to the team earlier this year.
Ratcliffe has now taken up a 33.33% shareholding, with Daimler reducing its stake to that level from its previous 60%, and Wolff increasing from his former holding of 30%.
The team will remain the works F1 team of Mercedes-Benz and will continue to race Mercedes chassis and power units in the coming years.
Under the new shareholding structure, Wolff will continue in his role as team principal and CEO for a further three years, leading the executive operations of the company and the racing team.
The Austrian will have the subsequent opportunity to transition to a new executive function within the organisation when he decides it is the right time to do so.
Ola Källenius, chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, said: "We are delighted to welcome INEOS to our Formula One joint venture as a fellow shareholder.
"It is a sign of the strength of the organisation in Brackley that we have been able to attract prestigious investors in INEOS, who see real potential for the future growth and development of the team.
"We remain firmly committed to Formula One, and the forthcoming cost cap, along with the new shareholding structure, put us in an even stronger position for continued success.
"With an even closer alignment to our Mercedes-AMG performance division beginning in 2021, and Toto's continued leadership in the coming years, the future is bright for Mercedes-Benz in Formula One."
Ratcliffe, who felt the opportunity was right for the increased investment, said: "Big challenges are a core part of our mindset at INEOS and our involvement across a number of different sports demonstrates that we always aim for the very best.
"When we entered Formula One earlier this year, we chose to do so with a Mercedes team that had set new benchmarks, and since then we have been in discussions about how we could increase our involvement.
"This is a unique opportunity to make a financial investment in a team at the very top of its game, but which still has rich potential to grow in the future.
"We could not wish for better partners than Mercedes-Benz, and a team of proven winners led by Toto."
Wolff's future had been speculated upon for some, and even he suggested he would likely dilute his role given the commitment required to attending F1 races.
In light of the announcement, Wolff said: "I am pleased to begin this new chapter for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team. This team is like a family for me.
"We have been through so many highs and lows together that I cannot imagine working with a better group of people in this sport - and I am very happy to continue together into this new era.
"This new investment from INEOS confirms that the business case for the Formula One teams is robust and sends an important signal of confidence in the sport after a challenging year
"I am excited to welcome Jim, Andy and John to the team as co-owners: they have built one of the most profitable companies in the world, they embody the true spirit of entrepreneurship and their expertise will strengthen our board in the years ahead.
"In parallel, it is a privilege to continue my partnership with Ola, Markus Schäfer and Mercedes-Benz for the coming years.
"We are proud to have added to the brand's prestigious motorsport heritage since 2010 and we share the ambition to grow the organisation further in the years to come."
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