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Wolff ‘extends power at Mercedes’

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Toto Wolff has reportedly upped his pay and “extended his power” at Mercedes ahead of the 2017 season.

Following a period of speculation, the German marque has announced that team boss Wolff and chairman Niki Lauda have extended their contracts through 2020.

The German newspaper Bild claimed: “In fact, Wolff has expanded his power over the winter.”

Bild said that while Wolff has been sharing the team boss role with the now Williams-bound Paddy Lowe, the Briton’s replacement James Allison is only technical director.

“Thus, he (Allison) is subordinate to Wolff,” correspondents Lennart Wermke and Jens Nagler said.

They added that the shareholding of the dominant Brackley based team is Mercedes 60 per cent, Wolff 30pc and former triple world champion Lauda 10pc.

F1 legend Lauda, 67, said he is happy to be staying for at least three more years.

“The past few years have been some of the best I have experienced in formula one,” he said. “Toto and I form a perfect partnership.”

Bild said Wolff will be paid about EUR 3.5 million by Mercedes this year, compared to 2 million for fellow Austrian Lauda.

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