In 2021, Formula 1 is to enter a new era. Will Mercedes then also continue to have its own factory team? To the relief of some or the consternation of others, there are currently no concrete signs that the silver arrows could withdraw from F1, yet.
But it’s also clear that the Formula 1 goals are slowly running out. 2019 will probably be the sixth year in a row that the drivers and constructors’ world championships will be won.
According to team boss Toto Wolff, this is no reason for the Daimler Group to withdraw from Formula 1 – on the contrary. “The platform is suitable for Mercedes. Nothing has changed in this respect,” he clarifies and explains that the farewell of Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche does not change anything. In May, the 66-year-old handed over his office as Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG to Ola Källenius.
“It never depends on individuals. We are a big structure,” explains Wolff and reveals: “What is important is that we get the rules right from 2021, that Formula 1 remains attractive or gains in attractiveness.
Should this happen, he sees no reason for Mercedes to turn its back on the top class of motorsport.
“The figures speak for themselves. Formula 1 is our biggest showcase,” he explains.
“The advertising and PR value we generate is enormous. And it’s rising,” reports the Austrian, revealing: “We’re meeting exactly the target groups we want to reach, namely the buyers of performance models, AMG cars. At the same time the ‘aspirational buyer’. The advertising value is a factor”. And it’s not just the bare numbers that count, as Wolff reveals.
“The image value of standing up to and winning against the best on the racetrack, and thus repeatedly appearing on the sports pages, has already contributed greatly in recent years to the overall positive perception of the brand,” says Wolff. Starting next season, Mercedes will also be represented in Formula E with a works team in addition to Formula 1.
Wolff reveals: Mercedes has delivered three billion US dollars in advertising value
According to Wolff, this is not an either/or question. He doesn’t believe that the top class will be abandoned soon because of Formula E, “because the numbers that we bring with our Formula 1 commitment continue to develop enormously positively.
Wolff explains: “As Mercedes, we delivered three billion US dollars in advertising value to our partners, including Mercedes-AMG, in 2018”.
“This does not include PR, if the sports side says that Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes win. The price-performance ratio is enormously positive from a commercial point of view. There is no doubt that we need to market hybrid engines better in Formula 1. And it is also clear that perhaps with a new engine regulation after 2024 it will shift even more in the direction of hybrids,” says Wolff.
So at the moment, it doesn’t look like Mercedes will be ending its Formula 1 domination anytime soon.