Cape Town – Toto Wolff has quashed speculation that Mercedes’ foray into Formula E could signal their exit from Formula One.
Earlier this year Mercedes’ Formula E entry was given green light by FIA with the German car-maker set to join the electric series in the 2019/20 season.
This raised some concerns, and many a paddock whisper, that it could be the first step in Mercedes walking away from F1.
Wolff says that won’t happen.
“F1 is part of our core business,” said the motorsport boss. “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.”
And while Wolff is not entirely happy with some of the proposed rules for F1’s future, he insists 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.”