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F1: Mercedes boss Toto Wolff to miss Japan GP

Absent: Toto Wolff  (Getty Images)
Absent: Toto Wolff (Getty Images)

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff will be absent from this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix as he undergoes knee surgery.

The 51-year-old is set to have an operation in his native Austria to restore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left leg.

Wolff damaged his knee a number of years ago and blamed it for a cycling accident during Formula One's summer break which left him with a fractured elbow.

Wolff's role will be divided between a number of the team's staff - including driver development director Jerome D'Ambrosio, the Belgian who took part in 20 F1 races in 2010 and 2011, and Mercedes' long-serving British chief communications officer Bradley Lord - often seen shadowing Wolff at the back of the garage.

It is understood Wolff will be on the team's intercom across the weekend and is likely to be back for the Qatar GP on October 8.

Mercedes will head to Suzuka perhaps fearing that their best shot at victory this year may have escaped them following Carlos Sainz's triumph at the Singapore Grand Prix.

Ferrari's Sainz became the first non-Red Bull driver to win this season - ending the world champions' unbeaten streak and Max Verstappen's record run of 10 consecutive victories.