Toto Wolff has revealed his commitment to Mercedes was never in doubt.
After months of speculation over his future role with Mercedes and parent company Daimler, Wolff finally nailed his colours to the mast a week before Christmas by signing on for a further three years as team principal.
The Austrian even went a step further by acquiring an additional three per cent equity in the F1 team to become an equal shareholder alongside Daimler and principal partner INEOS.
In laying the rumours of a potential exit to bed, as he had been linked with a switch to Aston Martin, Wolff said: "I was always committed to Mercedes. I can't imagine myself being involved in Formula 1 or any other car company.
"We have just grown together, it's the connection I've made in the team, but also within Daimler and the Daimler board.
"Ola [Källenius, Daimler chairman] and myself, we've known each other for more than 10 years, and I think over such a long period of time you start to trust each other.
"So what took so long? I think it's that we were busy by running our businesses - Ola was busy leading the transformation of Daimler, and I was busy trying to win the championship, and in that respect, it wasn't an imminent priority.
"I know the media saw it that way but for us, it was always clear it was going to happen."
Källenius claims getting Wolff to commit was "incredibly important".
He added: "What Toto and the team have achieved over the last 10 years or so is unbelievable - seven world championships, Lewis Hamilton's seventh world championship.
"So to have him on board and continuing with us is reassuring. He's not just our team boss and a business partner, he's part of the Mercedes family."
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