Wolff: Mercedes may consider other categories

Date published: June 5 2020

The Safety Car period was what gave Lewis Hamilton the win in Russia says Mercedes principal Toto Wolff.

Toto Wolff says Mercedes may consider joining other categories as the 2021 budget cap will leave them with surplus personnel.

The new regulations will limit teams to spending no more than $145 million for the 2021 season. The cap will then be reduced to $14omillion for 2022 before staying at $135million from 2023 to 2025.

Wolff, the team boss, feels that these changes make remaining in the sport more financially feasible for Mercedes and their competitors.

“First of all, we’re living in a financial reality that is very different to pre-COVID-19, and we have accepted the lower budget cap and it is a must that successful F1 franchises earn money rather than lose money,” he told Autosport.

“For us, it is also a way of making sure that Daimler not only appreciates the sporting and marketing benefits of the platform but also to make it as cost-neutral as possible. And I believe this is why we need to support such a cost cap.”

For the bigger teams, the cap means that they’ll have to cut their staff numbers. Due to this, Ferrari has already suggested they may consider joining racing classes away from F1. Wolff says Mercedes may do the same.

“For us, it means readjusting, it means changing the way we do things and deploy personnel in new areas. We have a very strong department that is called Mercedes Benz Applied Science, where we work for high-performance clients and deploy our services,” he added.

“And who knows? Maybe we will look at other race categories in order to keep the resource, and keep the human resource and intellectual property, within Mercedes.”

Despite this, the Austrian is adamant that, contrary to many rumours, the German team are not considering leaving F1.

“The top management of Mercedes very much sees Formula 1 as a core activity. We build road cars, and we build race cars. And actually the first ever car was a race car,” he said.

“And in that respect, we don’t see it simply as a marketing platform that generates valuable marketing dollars, but we see it as a core exercise.

“There is a technology transfer between the road and Formula 1, and it’s not being criticised within Daimler.”

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