Mercedes stakeholder and team principal Toto Wolff said that the German manufacturer is adamant to remain committed to Formula One despite recent rumours.
In recent weeks, Mercedes was rumoured to quit Formula One in the eve of the financial troubles presented by the global coronavirus pandemic. Reports have suggested that the German manufacturer could sell its 40 per cent stake in its Formula 1 organisation as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.
The suggestion was that Toto Wolff could partner with Racing Point’s owner Lawrence Stroll to fill Mercedes’ vacant spot on the grid should the Stuttgart-based company decide to quit F1. When discussing these suggestions surrounding Mercedes leaving F1, Wolff said that it was not a surprise to hear such rumours in the current situation.
“There’s always some kind of campaign and agenda going on. It’s clear that every automotive company faces difficult and insecure times,” he is quoted as saying by formula1.com.
"Every single day you open up a magazine or newspaper it’s about Volkswagen or Renault or FIAT or Daimler, and in that respect I completely understand that a sporting platform is being questioned.”
Wolff has also stressed the fact that Mercedes sees the participation in the Formula One World Championship as a „core activity”. The former race driver said Mercedes’ approach is different to that of some of its rivals in the regard that they do not simply compete in F1 for marketing purposes, but rather because motor racing is at the core of what they do as a company and there remains synergies between the sport and the rest of the business.
“The top management at 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 co-exercise. There is a technology transfer between the road and Formula 1 and it’s not being criticized within Daimler.
“Nevertheless we discuss all of our activities and all of our investments every single year and I think we’re just a target of somebody that wants to create some headlines and have more clicks.”No place for meritocracy in F1
Speaking about Formula 1 ’s recent plans about a possible introduction of balance of performance, Wolff has unequivocally stressed that he is against any form of artifical influencing of the packing order. The Austrian said he appreciated the best man wins approch in the sport.
"I am a fan of the meritocracy of Formula 1. The best man and the best machine wins. This is how it always was. No gimmicky stuff like in some other sports, where the show people have added components that have diluted the sport."
"I hate any kind of balance of performance. It becomes a political game and a political world championship and has no place in Formula 1."