(Motorsport-Total.com) – Toto Wolff made it clear in a video conference with media representatives on Wednesday that the Daimler Group’s exit from Formula 1 is “not currently an issue”. The Mercedes team boss is responding to alleged rumors that the German automobile manufacturer should consider ending its involvement in the premier class, not least due to the corona crisis.
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In his view, there are good reasons for the Silver Arrows to continue to do Grand Prix sport: “The marketing value that Mercedes generates through the Formula 1 platform is enormous. In the end, it is not always about marketing, but also about Credibility of the platform. “
“Mercedes-Benz,” says Wolff, “builds automobiles for series production, for the road, and builds automobiles for the racetrack. The first Mercedes was a racing car. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to question this commitment anyway.”
Especially in times of the corona crisis. Most recently, the involvement of the Renault-Nissan group in Formula 1 was put to the test. Last Friday, interim CEO Clotilde Delbos announced the decision not to close or sell the factory team. Reason for the decision for Formula 1: the introduction of the budget ceiling from 2021.
No new Concorde contract signed
Wolff knows that it would be foolish to make a long-term commitment to Daimler to remain in Formula 1 as long as no new Concorde contract has been signed. He explains: “In times of Corona, where the automotive industry is changing, every commitment has to be discussed. And that’s what happens in motorsport.”
At the same time, the Austrian emphasizes that there is currently no reason to doubt Daimler’s commitment to the premier class: “Formula 1 is solid. We have the support. The advertising value is enormous and is also valued. In this respect, this is not available at the moment Debate.”
“It does not mean that in a few years, when the world changes and we are all just electric around, and the sport may develop in a negative direction, it will be just as interesting for us. But today it is the equivalent in any case. “
Wolff suspects “campaign” against Mercedes
A Daimler spokesman had said before the video conference that “speculations regarding a possible withdrawal from Formula 1 remain unfounded and irresponsible”. In this regard, Wolff follows up and suspects a “campaign” against Mercedes: “I think we are the target of someone who wants to create headlines and maybe get more clicks.”
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In fact, media reports about a possible realignment of Daimler’s involvement in Formula 1 had surfaced last week. There was talk of a possible exchange of shares with the sports car manufacturer Aston Martin and its major shareholder Lawrence Stroll. There are currently no stories about a Daimler withdrawal from Formula 1.
Wolff does not deny that the consequences of the corona virus pandemic cannot yet be properly estimated: “Every car manufacturer faces difficult and uncertain times. Every day I open a magazine or a newspaper, I read something about VW, Renault , FIAT or Daimler. From this perspective, I completely understand that our sporting platform is being questioned. “
But: “The top management at Mercedes regards Formula 1 as a core activity.” And: “We have just agreed on a budget ceiling of 145 million, which will be reduced further over the next few years. Let’s see what Formula 1 looks like when we race again. But it is definitely a difficult time for any industry. Especially for the entertainment industry. “