Ineos motors in to take a one-third stake in Mercedes F1 squad

Chemical giant Ineos has confirmed its place on the Formula One grid by motoring in to take a one-third share in Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team.

As part of the move by Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s firm, Daimler will reduce its current 60% shareholding and Toto Wolff increase his current 30%, in order to create three equal partners in the Brackley-based company.

Under the new shareholding structure, Mr Wolff will continue in his role as team principal and chief executive for a further three years, leading the executive operations of the company and the racing team.

It comes after Mercedes all but confirmed that world champion Hamilton will continue to drive for them next season.

The 35-year-old won a record-equalling seventh Formula One title last month, six of which have come since his switch from McLaren to Mercedes in 2013.

Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher’s championship haul with his seventh title and already has more race wins, pole positions and podiums than any other driver in the sport’s history.

Sir Jim, who is one of the UK’s richest people with an estimated £18bn fortune, said: “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.”

Mr Wolff said: “This new investment from Ineos confirms that the business case for Formula One teams is robust and sends an important signal of confidence in the sport after a challenging year.”

Daimler chairman Ola Källenius said: “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.”

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