“Everything indicates that we will stay. But It’s not given.”
The following statement from Toto Wolff, the CEO of Mercedes F1 race team, started speculations that nearly shook the World of Formula 1. Mercedes has been the undisputed leader in the World of F1 for the past six years. The team has managed to retain both the Constructors and Formula one World Champions for six years straight with the British racer Lewis Hamilton bagging five World Champion titles out of the six offered.
Mercedes journey in Formula 1
Mercedes started their journey in F1 in 1954. However, they withdrew from the race after the disaster of Le Mans in 1955 despite winning both the drivers’ championship in two years. They then joined hand with McLaren in 1995 to provide engines to the team. The partnership proved fruitful for McLaren, who won three titles in the partnership which lasted for 19 years. Mercedes re-entered into the fray as a team in 2014 under the name of Mercedes AMG PETRONAS Motorsport. The team is currently providing engines to four teams in F1, namely McLaren, Williams, Racing Point, and themselves.
Six years of Dominance:
Since entering as a team in F1, Mercedes has utterly dominated the world of motorsport. The team has bagged both the titles offered for the six years of their existence. The start of the 2019 season drew a clear and visible line between them and the rest. The team bagged both the top two spots in each of the first five races this season and became the first team to do so in the process. The absolute Dominance started speculations that Mercedes will win all the tracks a prospect which thankfully didn’t turn into a reality.
Why might Mercedes quit Formula 1?
The F1 has seen its share of controversy over the Dominance of Mercedes. There have been various outcries for instilling a sense of competitiveness in the top flight of motor racing. FIA and Liberty media have appropriately is taking a few actions from the 2021 season to bring more competitiveness and sustainability. Consequently, Toto Wolff has issued a warning that though they want to stay in the sport, nothing is guaranteed. Wolff added that they have a different viewpoint from their F1 rivals when it comes to Formula One and that they are discussing the development of the automobile and its effect on the sport. He said that the team is unsure if they want to stay on the platform for the long term as they aren’t clear about the relevancy of F1 as an entertainment and technology platform.
Wolff said that the team is still in the discussion if they want to keep participating in the tournament and creating racing and road cars or if they want to hang their boots, thinking that they had successful runs and have nothing left to prove. The team could follow any strategy and will make a decision soon.
What’s in the future for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?
Lewis Hamilton’s contract with Mercedes expires in 2020. The driver has a deep relation with Mercedes as all his Word Champion titles have come with cars carrying a Mercedes engine. His first World title came in 2008 with McLaren in 2008, who at the time carried a Mercedes engine, whereas the rest of the titles have occurred while driving with the Mercedes since 2014.
If Mercedes pulls out of Formula 1, Lewis Hamilton may join Ferrari or Red Bull. The 34-year old has been linked with the two motor giants for the half a decade now.
Whereas, If Mercedes finally concludes pulling out of Formula 1, it could mean trouble for Willams and Racing Point as well.
Wolff created a headache for Willaims and Racing point while stating, “You can be only pregnant or not pregnant, not half pregnant. So, either we participate in the platform, or we do not.”Wolff has made it clear that if they pull out, they will not be supplying engines either.
If Mercedes decides to pull out of F1, it inevitably will cause some disruption in the motor world.