Wolff dismisses ‘nonsense’ Mercedes Formula 1 exit rumours

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

At today’s 2020 livery and new partnership unveiling Toto Wolff said Mercedes is in Formula 1 “for the long-term”.

Amid rumours that Mercedes might be looking to exit Formula 1 at the end of 2020, team boss Toto Wolff says this is not the case.

“F1 has always been a great provider of headlines over the winter break,” said Wolff

“And by the sheer lack of racing results and the controversy on track, dropping a bombshell of a headline, always sells.

“And in that respect, I’m always surprised that there’s just some lunatic out there that writes something on an internet page and it’s being picked up, which was a complete nonsense story, which was put straight by the CEO of Daimler the following day.

“That is one part of the story,” continued the Austrian.

“The other part is that with everything we do, we have to question is it the right activity that we deploy? It’s whether it’s in the petrochemical business, whether it’s as an OEM in the car industry, or whether it’s F1.

“We, as Daimler today, we see the advantages and the benefits that Formula 1 as a marketing platform provides to us and we see the data. And that is the underlying condition why we’re doing it.

“We are in this for the long-term. This is what we do: we build race cars and we build road cars.

“Formula 1 is the halo platform for hybrid engineering, something which is not communicated enough as it was talked down at the beginning of the V6 hybrid era.”

However Mercedes is yet to sign the new Concorde Agreement and Wolff is hesitant to say when the deal will be reached.

“We like the platform, but at the same time we are in negotiations with the rights holder and things need to be sorted out, but this partnership is something that indicates our wish to continue our successful journey in Formula 1.

“It is an ongoing process, a complicated set of contracts, a trilateral [agreement] between the FIA, Commercial Rights Holder [Liberty Media] and all the teams, and it needs time.

“We’re analysing details, I don’t want to commit to a specific date as there are some topics that remain to be agreed on and it is a work in process.

“Clearly there is a will and a wish for all of the stakeholders to come to a close, before we embark on the 2021 season, because that would be an uncomfortable situation,” concluded Wolff.

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