Daimler CEO says Mercedes would “be crazy” to leave Formula 1

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Daimler CEO Ola Källenius says Mercedes’ Formula 1 team is going form “a cost centre to being a valuable company” and dismisses the possibility of leaving the sport.

Källenius is referring to Formula 1’s $145m budget cap that will be introduced in 2021, as well as increased sponsorship opportunities. These things combined will significantly reduce the costs associated with Mercedes’ Formula 1 operation that has spend in excess of $440 million in 2019.

“We have carefully examined our involvement in Formula 1,” Källenius told German publication Manager Magazin.

“We see the interest in the sport increasing – in Asia, Europe, South America, everywhere. The number of young fans in particular is exploding, especially through social media and thanks to e-sports.

“Should we throw it all away? We’d be crazy to. There is currently as little reason for Mercedes-Benz to get out of Formula 1 as there is for FC Bayern Munich to get out of the Bundesliga.

“Formula 1 enjoys an enormous following, especially in all of the social networks, and is therefore of growing value for us as well.”

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The Swede also highlighted Mercedes commitment to electrification and hybrid technology, as announced in the compay’s new strategy.

“Our CFO Harald Wilhelm is pleased that we will cut costs in half and get new advertising partners. The team will change from being a cost centre to being a valuable company, almost like Bayern Munich.

“We’re going to push hybrid technology and we could switch to synthetic fuels. Formula 1 will be CO2 neutral.

“And these are all necessary changes, otherwise car races would become an event of the past,” concluded Källenius.

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