Toto Wolff has reaffirmed Mercedes’ future in Formula 1 and insists the German manufacturer has no plans to exit the sport in the short-term.

The Mercedes-Benz name returned to F1 in 2010 and has been the dominant force since the start of the V6 hybrid era in 2014, claiming five consecutive world championship doubles. It is on course to make it six in a row having enjoyed a strong start to the 2019 season with five straight one-two finishes.

The German manufacturer previously pulled out of F1 in 1955 following a period of success but Wolff insists Mercedes has no plans for history to repeat itself.

“We are not pulling out,” Wolff insisted.

“We had the discussion in the board because as a large corporation and a brand you need to choose ‘do you want to be in here for the long term and go through cycles’.

“There might be times that will be very difficult, like the early 2010s, and then there will be years that are great.

“Are we prepared as a brand to stick to Formula 1 long term and go through these cycles? Or on the other hand, is the environment changing and do we want to take the maximum success and then take a decision on whether to go or stay?

“I think that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. We are really enjoying it, it makes sense for us. Against all odds the audiences are growing, even on TV. We've seen some races with strong live audiences.

“Today Formula 1 is really a great advertising window for Mercedes-Benz. Where the auto industry is heading in five years or eight years, I don't know. But as I can say now, feeling the pulse, it's something that we really enjoy.”

Wolff also responded to reports suggesting he was considering his own future within the Mercedes set-up, and stressed he has not contemplated his future beyond 2020.

“I am in a super situation,” Wolff said. “I am a shareholder on the team, I love to be with the people and the relationship matters to me.

“I am in a happy place and motivated every single day to do this. There is a while, some more years into my current contract, and I think with all the other discussions you are having with drivers for example, I think you need to be 100 percent with your head in your role, and this is what I am. I haven’t contemplated any change beyond 2020.”

Asked whether Mercedes’ continued participation in F1 will play a key role in his future, Wolff replied: “No as it stands at the moment Mercedes is getting a lot of benefit from F1 with these two platforms.

“Formula E is an exciting start-up, and interesting to watch how it grows. On the other side, the global platform of F1, it just really covers what we expect from our motor racing properties.

“F1 is in a good space, we had more than half a billion unique viewers last year and the numbers are up, even though we are facing the same problems as any other sport.

“Honestly where I am I feel in a good place. Mercedes hasn’t given any indication that we are going to stop the programme, on the contrary, we are having really open-minded discussions about what the benefits are.

“But in 10 years the whole auto industry might be different and fully electric and in a different place, so I don’t want to give any comment on where we might be in 10 years but I can say in the short-to-mid-term, F1 makes a lot of sense for Mercedes.”

Comments

Loading Comments...