Wolff plays down rumours Mercedes to quit F1

<i>Image: ANDREJ ISAKOVIC / AFP</i>
<i>Image: ANDREJ ISAKOVIC / AFP</i>
ANDREJ ISAKOVIC / AFP

Toto Wolff has played down rumours that Mercedes could quit Formula 1 at the end of 2020.

All the teams are only committed contractually until the end of next year, with the next Concorde Agreement set to drastically slash spending.

But boss Wolff denied that the end of the current contract is the perfect time for Mercedes to call time on its ultra-successful works team.

"No.  Today we are committed to Formula 1.  It's a platform that works very well for us," he told Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

"The brand benefits from fighting for victories and championships.  It has charged and energised the brand and given it a certain emotion."

However, Mercedes is entering a works team in Formula E, with electric mobility appearing to be the future for carmakers.

"It's completely separate to Formula 1," Wolff insists.

"In Formula 1, we have the most efficient and powerful hybrid engine that exists, with energy efficiency of over 50 per cent.  There is no other engine in the world like it.

"It is up to us to communicate that better," he said.

But amid rumours that he does not get along with incoming Daimler chief Ola Kallenius, Wolff insists that the Mercedes team is fully supported by the carmaker's board.

"We have the best possible situation because they give us the confidence to deliver the job," he said.

"The fact that we have a Daimler board member in our team leadership makes us very strong and able to act.

"With Ola Kallenius, with Markus Shafer, who will take over from Ola, or with Dieter Zetsche, I speak every day with them on a racing weekend," Wolff said.

"About why we made what decisions, what we screwed up or where we were right.  The whole team feels and appreciates this support from the board."

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