Toto Wolff: “We build road cars, and we build race cars”

© Daimler AG

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says Mercedes is not only committed to racing, but might even expand into other series.

With a new Formula 1 budget cap of $145m for 2021 and going down to $135m from 2023 to 2025, Toto Wolff says Daimler might look to use the freed up resources to expand its racing operation into other series. This is in stark contrast to persistent rumours that Mercedes might be looking to pull out of Formula 1.

“First of all, we’re living in a financial reality that is very different to pre-COVID-19,” Wolff said.

“And we have accepted the lower budget cap and it is a must that successful F1 franchises earn money rather than lose money.

“For us it is also a way of making sure that Daimler not only appreciates the sporting and marketing benefits of the platform, but also to make it as cost neutral as possible. And I believe this is why we need to support such a cost cap.

“For us it means readjusting, it means changing the way we do things, and deploy personnel in new areas.

“We have a very strong department that is called Mercedes Benz Applied Science, where we work for high performance clients, and deploy our services.

“And who knows? Maybe we will look at other race categories in order to keep the resource, and keep the human resource and intellectual property, within Mercedes.”

Wolff goes on to once again explain Mercedes is committed to Formula 1.

“There’s always some kind of campaign and agenda going on. I think it’s clear that every automotive company faces difficult and insecure times.

“Every single day you open up a magazine, or a newspaper, it’s about VW, or Renault or Fiat or Daimler. And in that respect, I completely understand that our sporting platform is being questioned.

“The top management of Mercedes very much sees Formula 1 as a core activity. We build road cars, and we build race cars. And actually the first ever car was a race car.

“And in that respect, we don’t see it simply as a marketing platform that generates valuable marketing dollars, but we see it as a core exercise.

“There is a technology transfer between the road and Formula 1, and it’s not being criticised within Daimler. Nevertheless, we discuss all our activities and all our investments every single year.

“And I think we’re just a target of somebody that wants to create some headlines and then maybe have more clicks,” concluded the Austrian.


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