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Toto Wolff to miss first grand prix in over six years this weekend

Toto Wolff to miss first grand prix in over six years this weekend
© Reuters
Wolff has attended every grand prix since the start of the 2013 season.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is to miss his first grand prix in six-and-a-half years this weekend following the latest double success of his all-conquering team.

With a sixth-successive constructors' championship sewn up at the Japanese Grand Prix in October, and with Lewis Hamilton clinching his fifth drivers' crown for the team at the last race in Austin, Wolff has decided to skip this weekend's penultimate event of the season in Brazil.

The Austrian is instead to concentrate on what he has described as "other open topics", that includes, among other things, helping to finalise the details of F1's new wide-ranging technical and sporting regulations for 2021, while Mercedes also embark on their maiden Formula E season, that starts with a double-header in Saudi Arabia on November 22 and 23, which he is due to attend.

"We have two races to go in the 2019 season and we want to end this season on a high," said Wolff, who has attended every race since the start of the 2013 season.

"The next stop takes us to Brazil which brings back fond memories from last year when we were not only able to win the race but also secure the constructors' championship at Interlagos.

"Brazil will also be the first race since 2013 that I won't attend. With both championships secured, it gives me more time in Europe to focus on other open topics.

"It's great to be able to do this and to know that the team will represent the three-pointed star in the best way possible both on and off the track."

Despite Mercedes setting a new F1 record in winning both championships for a sixth-consecutive year, Wolff has made clear he is hungry to continue such dominance, and there will be no let up in his team's pursuit of doing so.

Following the celebrations that took place at the team's headquarters in Brixworth and Brackley last week, Wolff paid tribute to the "1,500 men and women that form this amazing team and made this extraordinary success possible".

Mercedes 2019 Championship Celebrations Handouts
The Mercedes workforce, with Lewis Hamilton (front, centre), recently celebrated their sixth-successive double world title success (Steve Etherington)

He added: "It is always a special moment, and this year's was particularly special as our sixth consecutive double sets a new benchmark in our sport.

"But despite this record-breaking achievement, I still feel a lot of hunger and desire for more achievements.

"There's no sense of complacency, everybody is still determined to keep on improving. It's an inspiring group of people that fully lives up to the Mercedes aspiration of being the best."

This season Wolff has been touted as a leading candidate to take charge of F1, with chief executive Chase Carey's contract up for renewal at the end of next season.

Monaco Grand Prix – Race Day – Circuit de Monte Carlo
Wolff has been touted as a successor to Chase Carey (pictured) whose contract as CEO expires at the end of next season (David Davies/PA)

But speaking to the PA news agency, Wolff said: "I haven't given it consideration, and certainly have not had any concrete discussions about running Formula One.

"I really like what I do. Running a sports team from the commercial and financial side, and from a lap-time perspective, is exciting because the stopwatch never lies. I like that honesty about the sport.

"At the same time, it is important to be committed to what you do. If you think about the next thing, you are not going to give it 100 per cent any more, and I have never done that."

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Lewis Hamilton (44) of Great Britain celebrates winning his sixth world championship after the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas on November 3, 2019
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States22251764
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee12211750
Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events

· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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