S since 2014 Mercedes has dominated Formula 1 like no other Racing team ever before. Since then, the brand with the star has achieved 89 out of 121 possible Grand Prix victories. A Mercedes driver has been world champion six times. The racing team has crowned itself six times with the constructors' world championship.
Despite the great successes, the works program in Formula 1 was accompanied by rumors of exit. They have apparently been fed fresh food for the past few months. The corona pandemic hits the German automotive industry, hits Mercedes. Sales are shrinking, sales are falling, and employees are on short-time work. The Daimler share crashed to an interim low of about 22 euros. It is now back over 34 euros. It is understandable that one also takes a close look at motorsport activities.
Despite the crisis, Daimler is sticking to its Formula 1 program. And it will continue to do so beyond 2020. At the request of auto motor und sport, the Stuttgart-based carmaker made it clear on Friday: 'We don't just want to, we will continue as a works team in Formula 1.' Or differently: Mercedes confirms that it wants to sign the new basic contract for the premier class.
Mercedes welcomes F1 -Zukunftsplan
Yesterday, Thursday, Mercedes had once again invalidated rumors that the Formula 1 commitment was on the brink. In a statement, Daimler sharply rejected the rumor. 'Speculations about a possible withdrawal from Formula 1 are still unfounded and irresponsible. The sport has taken the right measures to deal with the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and itsaddress future financial sustainability. We welcome these steps. '
Formula 1 around FIA President Jean Todt and the rights holders of Liberty Media have done a great job in recent weeks. The corona crisis still threatens the existence of some teams Formula 1 cushions as much as possible. They discovered a great opportunity in the high risk - and took advantage of it. Without the drastic cuts, the premier class might have had to complain about bloodletting. The future plan makes it easier for manufacturers like Renault and Mercedes to build an F1- Justified.
The teams' annual expenses will decrease. There are still exceptions such as driver salaries, the salaries of the three highest-paid employees and marketing, for example, but even the big ones will no longer be 300 million or more spend a year, but significantly less. 145 million dollars plus the exceptions. The expenses can be covered by income from the Formula 1 rights pot and possibly through sponsors cover. It remains to be seen whether some teams can even earn little money. In any case, Formula 1 will be more sustainable.
Engine costs down
So that not only the chassis departments save, but also the engine costs are drastically reduced, the number of test bench runs are limited. In the past, manufacturers burned dozens of engines and gasoline. The engines ran practically day and night on the high-tech test benches. This will be put to an end with the new regulations that will take effect from 2020.
In addition, engine development is to be restricted. Manufacturers will no longer build a completely new engine for each season. Parts are frozen. Probably the complete V6 turbo in the next few years. All of this saves money. Otherwise, costs that arise can be justified through research. The Formula 1 engines are to be converted step by step to synthetic fuels. This could also be a way forward for the road cars of the future.
Formula 1 has already started to reduce its carbon footprint. The premier class wants to be CO2-neutral by 2030 at the latest. This is important for the manufacturer. The green wheel will not turn back any more.
Answers were provided to the questions of the critics. Can a company that, like the entire industry and economy, is deeply in crisis, even remain in Formula 1? A business that devours hundreds of millions of euros a year. Wouldn't that be unreasonable, even immoral?
Wolff remains the boss
In the recent past rumors about Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff have surfaced again and again. Daimler is now ending it. 'Toto is and will remain our team boss - beyond the season,' a company spokesman told the German press agency. Wolff will continue to manage the operational business of the Mercedes team - beyond 2020.
Its strategic investment in Aston Martin and the ongoing contract negotiations have led to wild speculation in recent months. Wolff has already been made managing director of Aston Martin by some media. And he was said to have a rather undercooled relationship with Daimler boss Ola Källenius. Wolff could no longer act and rule in his empire as he once did under CEO Dieter Zetsche. It was said that Källenius overrode him on some decisions.
Whether that was true or not: Källenius and Wolff want to continue working together. Between the lines you can hear that the two parties are about to conclude negotiations. Daimler does not want to comment on contract details. Discretion applies here.
No expansion at Aston Martin
AUTO BILD reported that the 48-year-old Austrian could vacate his position as team boss at the end of the year. He is leaving the operational business and instead joins the supervisory body of the Formula 1 team. A kind of supervisor role is envisaged. The new team boss then has to report directly to Wolff.
Daimler denies that. Just like the speculation about an exchange deal between Lawrence Stroll and Mercedes. The report said that Stroll would cede his stake in Aston Martin to Daimler, which could then position the company against Ferrari in the sports car market. In return, Stroll will receive shares in the Mercedes F1 team. The Canadian and Wolff would then lead the Mercedes factory team as majority owners.
Upon request, Daimler denies that there are such simulation games. On the contrary: they are referred to the realm of fables. Rumors were deliberately spread by certain parties that were not true. If there was something to the Aston Martin story, Daimler would have it when the Tobias Moers switching from AMG to Aston Martin indicated. Then the press release would have said something like: Mercedes is aiming for further participation. But exactly such a sentence could not be read.