Toto Wolff: “We wish to continue to support independent, privateer teams”


Toto Wolff has revealed that Mercedes rejected the opportunity to supply Red Bull Racing with engines as they wanted to respect the current partnerships they have with privateer teams in Formula 1.

The Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport admitted the decision was thought long and hard about, but ultimately it was decided against supplying the two Red Bull-backed teams for 2016.

“We decided with our board that we as an engine supplier – and as a team – have worked hard and long to achieve the success we have today, after taking the decision to enter the sport again as a works team in 2010,” said Wolff to Formula1.com.

“Therefore we decided two weeks ago against exploring an engine supply to Red Bull. We wish to continue with our model to support independent, privateer racing teams – and to respect the relationships we already have in place with our customers – alongside our primary focus on the Mercedes works team.

“I have never hidden my opinion. But we take decisions collectively and objectively, evaluating all the pros and cons, and not as individuals.”

Wolff also said that Formula 1 should be about both aerodynamics and engines, despite the dependency in recent years heading towards the power department. He feels a car will only work when the aero package compliments the engine package.

“This is called motor racing – that means that there is a motor that is an important factor,” added Wolff. “There have been many people – like even Mr [Enzo] Ferrari himself – who said that F1 is mainly about the engine.

“Recently, it was more an aerodynamic formula – but now we are back to a situation where the engine also plays an important role. Both sides are important today: you need a strong reliable engine and a car that generates good downforce. One without the other doesn’t work.”