Mercedes eyes option of leaving F1

Wolff says it is not a given Mercedes stays in F1
Wolff says it is not a given Mercedes stays in F1

Champions Mercedes are likely to stay in Formula One after major changes come into play in 2021 but that cannot be taken for granted, team principal Toto Wolff said on Tuesday. Especially with large layoffs looming for Mercedes and Tesla starting to eat into their sales, Mercedes may not want to be spending so much money on a sport that uses internal combustion engines.

The German car maker’s factory team have won both the constructors’ and drivers’ championships for an unprecedented six years in a row, and next season is the last before a financial, technical and sporting shake-up.

The teams are still negotiating a new agreement with commercial rights holders Liberty Media to replace the one that expires at the end of 2020, and their positions are being staked out.

“Everything indicates that we will stay. But it’s not a given," Wolff, who is missing this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix to deal with such commercial matters, told Motorsport.com.

“We are in the middle of discussing the new Concorde Agreement. In connection with this, and independently of it, we are discussing the development of the automobile and its effects on sport," added the Austrian.

“In which direction is the automotive world developing? In what form is Formula One relevant as an entertainment and technology platform? As a brand whose first car was a racing car, do we want to stay on this platform in the long term?"

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