Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport‘s team boss Toto Wolff has stated the German manufacturer’s entry into the ABB Formula E Series won’t signal the end of their Formula 1 team.
Mercedes were given the green light at the beginning of the year to join the full-electric series for the 2019/2020 season.
Their entry into the series left questions surrounding their Formula 1 team whether this is the first step from the German car manufacturer into walking away from the sport.
Mercedes have already announced they’ll quit DTM to focus on their Formula E team at the end of this year, but Toto Wolff told PlanetF1 that they won’t be doing the same for Formula 1 because the sport is part of their business.
“Formula 1 is part of our core business,” said Wolff. “The first Mercedes was a race car, Formula 1 is not just a marketing platform for us. There is a direct technology transfer from the series,
“In addition, we cherish the sportiness of our brand. That’s why we want to stay in the series because it’s the only true global platform that counts for us.”
Mercedes’ Formula E team will benefit from expertise across their motorsport entries, including their main Formula 1 team based in Brackley.
Wolff insists that their entry in Formula E will be “complementary”, not a “competition” to Formula 1.
“Formula 1 is clearly the top class in racing. But electrification happens, and it is a good message for every brand,” Wolff continued.
“Three years ago, I would not have given Formula E a chance. But that has changed.
“It addresses a young, urban target group. The series creators have done a good job.
“For us, it’s like a start-up we’re interested in. But it is complementary to Formula 1 for us, not a competition.”