Wolff: Bernie’s ‘hand grenades’ predictable

Date published: February 27 2018

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has played down the prospect of Ferrari forming a breakaway series by saying ex-boss Bernie Ecclestone is merely throwing a "hand grenade".

Ecclestone suggested over the last weekend that Ferrari are ready to follow up their threat to quit Formula 1 by spearheading a rebel series, something he felt would interest many disgruntled track promoters.

But Wolff has said that no talks have been held about the prospect of a new series and the priority, first and foremost, is to make Formula 1 the best it possibly can be.

“Bernie’s hand grenades,” Wolff mused on Sky Sports F1. “You can count the weeks down and another one goes flying.

“The last one was confusing but we have three more years signed up to Formula 1 and we are committed to that.

“We all benefit if it is doing well and this is what we are concentrating on: giving the Formula 1 management and the FIA the utmost support to solve the problems and make F1 great.

“This must be our clear number one priority.”

Wolff was then asked whether he could play the role of peace-maker between Liberty and Ferrari in future negotiations.

He added: “Most of the things that Sergio [Marchionne] has said make absolute sense to me.

“We are critical on the some of the things [proposed for 2021] as we want Formula 1 to do well.

“We invest a lot in this global sport and we feel responsible and we worry.

“So far it is not a case of whether we are all aligned, it is a case of doing what is best for Formula 1.”

Negotiations are set to rumble on throughout the 2018 season as Liberty and FIA continue to work on the blueprint for Formula 1 once the Concorde Agreement ends in 2020.