Italian Motorsport.com reports that Mercedes will remain in F1 beyond 2020, with Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton both extending their contracts.
There has been a lot of speculation about the Silver Arrows’ continued participation in the Formula 1 championship beyond 2020. With a major regulations shakeup coming in 2021, many have said that Mercedes has more to lose than to gain by staying in the sport.
Add to that the fact that Lewis Hamilton’s and team principal Toto Wolff’s contracts with the German team expire at the end of 2020 and it’s not surprising that rumours about the manufacturer’s exit from Formula 1 have been gaining traction. Furthermore, Mercedes is yet to sign the new Concorde Agreement, adding more fuel to the fire.
However, recently rumours came out regarding the details of Lewis Hamilton’s contract extension negotiations and now the Italian edition of Motorsport.com claims that an announcement about Mercedes’ future beyond 2020 is coming very soon.
Motorsport reports that Mercedes is determined to “stay in Formula 1 for a long time” and their plans are expected to be confirmed in the “coming months”. In addition they say Toto Wolff is expected to renew his contract and Lewis Hamilton’s new two-year deal “has already been defined”.
Furthermore, Motorsport notes that the “change in leadership of the Daimler group between Dieter Zetsche and Ola Källenius took some time”, but the new Chairman still sees Formula 1 as a valuable investment.
Toto Wolff recently said that Daimler’s main concerns with their participation in Formula 1 were of a financial nature, but Motorsport says that “the current situation is perfect for the German company: its presence in the World Championship costs very little”, with prizes, sponsors and the new budget-cap reducing Daimler’s investment to a minimum. In addition, the German company finds “the combination of hybrid series production and the current technical base of Formula 1” perfect for marketing purposes.
As Motorsport adds: “the times of big investments (2012-2015) are long gone, today the Formula 1 team is an efficient, well-established mechanism, which is preparing to travel at zero cost.”
Regarding Hamilton’s 2021 team-mate, Valtteri Bottas is again expected to wait for his contract extension confirmation as Motorsport reports he is one of two main candidates for the 2021 seat, the other being Mercedes’ junior driver and current Williams racer George Russell.