Toto Wolff admitted it was a pitch from Formula 1 bosses Chase Carey and Sean Bratches that convinced Mercedes-Benz to support the German Grand Prix in 2019, with the German manufacturer having previously rejected the opportunity to promote the race at the Hockenheimring.
The 2019 Formula 1 calendar was recently announced, and Mercedes were confirmed as the title sponsor of the race in Germany, with Wolff crediting what Messrs. Carey and Bratches had to say that changed their mind about supporting their home Grand Prix, which saw Lewis Hamilton claim victory for Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport in 2018.
“In Hockenheim on Sunday morning some of our board members were there and Chase and Sean pitched it very well,” said Wolff to Motorsport.com. “We had full grandstands, lots of action, and enthusiastic crowds at Hockenheim, and they asked if we were able to bridge the [financial] gap.
“When they left we gave it some consideration, and had some negotiations over the shutdown. And then I pitched it back to the board and the board decided, ‘We do it, we want to keep the German GP.’”
Wolff says the 2019 race is currently a one-off for Mercedes, but there is an option to do it again in 2020 should things do well next season.
“I think it’s about finding out how we can best activate the German GP next year and see how to maximise it for the fans, for Mercedes people and for us,” said Wolff.
“We will try to put on a good show, display cars, and decide whether it works for us and whether we want to continue or not. We have an option for 2020.”