Mercedes decided to put resources into Formula 1 that now ‘dwarfs’ other series

Jamie Woodhouse
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff on a balcony. Hungary July 2022.

Toto Wolff stands on a balcony during the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend. Budapest July 2022.

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff says series like DTM and Formula E, where the firm previously competed, are now “dwarfed” by Formula 1.

Mercedes have quickly become one of Formula 1’s most successful teams, winning eight Constructors’ titles in a row from 2014-2021, plus seven Drivers’ titles in that time also.

And the manufacturer are now pooling their resources into Formula 1, having previously scrapped their DTM and Formula E works teams, selling the latter to McLaren ahead of the 2023 FE season.

And Wolff would explain that F1 has grown to such a size that now, other series like DTM and FE simply do not make sense from an investment standpoint.

“I think that Formula 1 has become so big that everything else has been dwarfed,” Wolff told ŚwiatWyścigó

“We were really happy, successful in DTM for over 30 years. But it has come to a point where the works team, if you wanted to compete, you need 40 or 50 million euros and the return on investment was too small for that. And it’s the same in Formula E. The audiences were just not good enough.

“So you have DTM there, and then you have Formula E here, and then you have Formula 1 in the whole room. So, we decided that let’s concentrate on doing that properly and put the resources into Formula 1, rather than being distracted and dilutive for the other things.”

Of course, there are other series and events operating in Europe, like Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship, which continue to have a high standing in the world of motorsport, but Wolff does believe that Formula 1’s popularity boom poses a risk to such series.

The way he described it is that such series are operating “offline” so to speak, with the eyes of the fans fixed on Formula 1.

Asked if Formula 1’s success may come at the detriment of other categories, Wolff replied: “It is, I think, already.

“I think we are seeing that we are so big that the audiences… I mean, there’s great racing in Le Mans, in WEC, in GT3s and DTM, but that is happening offline, you can say. There are race fans and hardcore audiences who follow, but no one else. So, it is at risk.”

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