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Mercedes quitting F1 a 'conceivable scenario'

  • Published on 29 Nov 2017 10:01
  • comments 11
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Mercedes is now joining Ferrari in threatening to quit formula one after 2020. Earlier, Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne said that if Liberty Media proceeds with its plans for the 2021 engine rules and budget cap, the Italian team could withdraw and race elsewhere.

And now, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has admitted he is not happy at the end of Liberty's first year in F1. "Nothing," he said when asked by Kronen Zeitung newspaper to point out a Liberty-inspired highlight of 2017. "Doing erratic actions like Michael Buffer in Austin does not make the sport any better," said Wolff.

When told that Liberty just wants closer racing, a better engine and cost controls, Wolff responded: "But we do not see any vision. Nobody knows where the journey is going. All we know now is that sales and profits have fallen sharply."

So when asked if Mercedes could join Ferrari in its F1 quit threat, Wolff said: "Such a scenario is quite conceivable. Just as it is for Ferrari. If we do not see what formula one stands for, then we have to ask ourselves the difficult question: not if but where do we want to operate in motor sport at the highest level?" he added. (GMM)

Replies (11)

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  • If you want to retain your dignity I'd suggest you come with more than just threats mate. I can threaten my patients all I want with "relax so that the ECG doesnt get messy, or else..", but all it will result in is even messier ECG:s, tachycardic patients and that the threat will sooner or later wear off an become meaningless.

    • + 0
    • Nov 29 2017 - 11:32
    • ECG is fine, it's blood pressure that's the problem. Bad case of white coat syndrome.

      But I agree, Merc and Ferrari whine and cry so often that I wonder what would happen if they did quit? A lot less drama for sure!

      • + 0
      • Nov 29 2017 - 12:01
    • It depends, but generally you are correct. ECG isnt really the tricjiewt thing really, but it was the first that came to mind. :) Although Im not wearing the coat, I do the analysis and let the docs do the paperwork. ;)

      Thing is, I dont necessarily think its good if Mercedes leaves, but at the same time, the climate Merc and Ferrari creates really isnt productive.

      • + 0
      • Nov 29 2017 - 14:31
    • "trickiest"

      • + 0
      • Nov 29 2017 - 14:32
  • mbmwe36

    Posts: 533

    Even though we've heard many times before that they (especially Ferrari) will quit, I do think they have a legitimate gripe here.

    F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport, if you've won that, you have outstanding technological prowess. You can use that in the branding of your company.
    If we move more and more towards standardised parts, we end up where your HR department is the only thing you can brag about, for getting the best driver.

    If Ferrari were to pull out, and join a competing series, I'm not so sure F1 as we know it would survive long term. If Mercedes were to pull out at the same time, F1's future would look really, really bleak - even short term.

    • + 1
    • Nov 29 2017 - 12:35
    • IMO, F1 need brands like Ferrari and Mercedes, but we could be without the politics that come with them.

      • + 0
      • Nov 29 2017 - 20:56
    • mbmwe36

      Posts: 533

      Of course, but that's never gonna happen, though. But let's not forget that Liberty is also choosing to play politics in the media.

      Unlike 10 or 20 years ago, starting up a rival series would be much, much easier today, simply because you don't need to rely on TV stations to get your content out to the consumer. Soo it's not too farfetched to think that they both would leave.

      • + 0
      • Nov 29 2017 - 21:14
    • As long as they dont get to police the sports just the two, Im fine with it. They have too much power at the moment. True, but I feel like they are doing it in a decent way. If you think about it, it wouldnt've been necessary if Merc and Ferrari didnt do it to begin with.

      I could see Mercedes leaving, but Ferrari? F1 is their main marketing spot, its one of few series they are legit competitive in. Where would they go? FE? FE got it wrong from the start, and you only have one release, one shot at glory. It will likely never be a legit challenger. Now, I could see a more accessible sport threatening F1, but say Super GT is a bit too unknown even if its aired on Youtube, and will likely never spread wide due to it being a Japan specific series. Le Mans isnt in a good spot at the moment either, and dont even mention DTM.

      • + 0
      • Nov 29 2017 - 23:26
    • mbmwe36

      Posts: 533

      I'd say that Ferrari is bigger than Formula 1. Meaning that they can legitimise a series just by joining. Of course ideally another big name, like Mercedes, should join them so it's not just Ferrari competing with themselves and humiliating a bunch of smaller teams.

      If memory serves, about 15 years ago, there were pretty strong rumours about a competing series being started with Ferrari being a key part of. Eventually they came to terms with F1 and it went nowhere.

      With streaming, and services like Netflix, Amazon etc. distribution wouldn't be that big of a headache for a new series. And surely you can find 15-20 racetracks around the world. I don't know what the lead time would be to get it up and running, maybe a couple of years. If course it would require quite the investment, but it's not impossible. Any word on Bernie's no-compete clause? ;-)

      It's funny you mention DTM, because that is what I see F1 becoming if Ferrari leaves. A once great, but now irrelevant series that no one cares about.

      • + 0
      • Nov 30 2017 - 01:03
  • reg

    Posts: 162

    Would FI be better without Merc and Ferrari - well maybe in my opinion, as long as it doesn't turn into a n imitation of Indycar that is!

    • + 0
    • Nov 29 2017 - 12:39
  • (Doing erratic actions like Michael Buffer in Austin does not make the sport any better) I lost everything for Liberty when they put that idiot on the stage. I hate all that American shows in all of their crap sports. Keep it for yourself and dont f...cking mess with traditions of FM1 or else.

    • + 0
    • Nov 29 2017 - 19:29

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