Key Mercedes figure to sit out Japanese GP

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Mercedes Formula 1 Team Principal Toto Wolff is set to miss the upcoming Japanese Grand Prix.

PA reports that the Austrian boss will skip the round – however, it is not believed to be linked to the recent difficult weekend Mercedes endured in Australia.

Lewis Hamilton retired from the race on lap 19 with a Power Unit issue while George Russell dropped out after crashing on the penultimate lap.

Wolff stated after the Grand Prix that it is “fair” to question his leadership position within the organisation.

Wolff’s absence from the race is believed to revolve around a decision made prior to the start of the new campaign.

The 52-year-old also sat out last year’s Japanese Grand Prix while he recovered from knee surgery.

On that occasion, his trackside operations were carried out by former ex-F1 driver Jerome D’Ambrosio.

However, that is not likely to be the case this time around as RacingNews365 revealed that D’Ambrosio had been poached by rivals Ferrari.

Mercedes enters the upcoming Japanese Grand Prix fourth in the World Championship, marking its worst start (after three rounds) in the sport’s turbo hybrid era that began in 2014.

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