Mercedes F1 team principal Toto Wolff has dismissed speculation that Mercedes’ Formula E venture could herald a Formula One exit.
Earlier this year, the FIA green lit Mercedes’ Formula E entry for the 2019-2020 season.
However, some feared that it could be the first step in Mercedes walking away from F1. But Wolff has firmly said that that won’t happen.
“F1 is part of our core business,” said Wolff. “The first Mercedes was a race car.
“F1 is not just a marketing platform for us. There is a direct technology transfer from the series.
“In addition, we cherish the sportiness of our brand. That’s why we want to stay in the series because it’s the only true global platform that counts for us.”
The Austrian has admitted that he is not entirely satisfied with some of the proposed rules for F1’s future. But, he insists that Formula E will be “complementary” to F1, not competition.
“F1 is clearly the top class in racing. But electrification happens, and it is a good message for every brand,” he added.
“Three years ago, I would not have given Formula E a chance. But that has changed.
“It addresses a young, urban target group. The series creators have done a good job,” he said.
“For us, it’s like a start-up we’re interested in. But it is complementary to F1 for us, not a competition.”
Mercedes may be risking things by dividing resources between both series. Mahindra Racing tried it when they were competing in Moto3 and Formula E. But the Indian marquee had to shut down their Moto3 operations and concentrate on the all-electric series.
They have found considerable success in both fields with wins and podiums in both series. This year, Mahindra established itself as a championship contender early this season. However, mechanical issues and the occasional driver error saw them slip.