F1 still attractive for Mercedes – Kallenius

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Mercedes-Benz boss Ola Källenius suggested that his company still considers the Formula 1 championship as an interesting platform, although the German marque is yet to confirm its long-term plans regarding it participation in the sport.

After returning to the sport as a works team in 2010, Mercedes endured a relatively troubles start to its reappearance in Formula 1 despite the fact that it built its outfit around the Brawn GP that dominated the previous season. However, when the sport introduced a whole set of new technical regulations including the arrival of the complex hybrid units, the Anglo-German came alive and has won six consecutive double titles since.

Despite their utterly successful form, the company’s commercial contract with the series expires at the end of 2020, with negotiations for a renewal on-going. With Mercedes signing an engine supply agreement for 2021 with its old partner McLaren, its presence as at least an engine manufacturer seems to be secure. However, it has been suggested that the Silver Arrows are on their way out.

Speaking to Autocar, the company’s boss Ola Källenius could not guarantee Mercedes’s commitment to Formula 1, but he said that the platform the sports offers it still attractive for the German marque.

“As you know, negotiations are proceeding right now over the framework of a new F1 agreement for the future. It is important to us that any deal should be ecologically satisfactory as well as financially sound. But F1 remains a very, very attractive arena for us.”

With several car manufacturers working on hypercars, Mercedes has also committed itself to build its own version of a high-performance sportscar, termed Mercedes-AMG Project One. The company promised that its hypercar will combine stunning racetrack performance and practical Formula 1 hybrid technology with exemplary efficiency.

Asked about the progress Mercedes has made with its development, Kallenius refuses to go into detail. “I wouldn’t say we’ve been quiet. In fact, the whole project is quite loud, as you’d expect of a car powered by an F1 engine. The development of the car is proceeding and we are excited about it. When we reach the right stage, we will say more,” he concluded.