Daimler explain the 'four pillars' that led to decision to keep Mercedes in F1

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Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius has revealed the "four pillars" which led to the decision to keep Mercedes in Formula 1.

For much of last year rumours were circulating suggesting the future of the works team at least was uncertain, with team boss Toto Wolff and new partner Ineos linked to takeovers at certain points.

Ultimately, last month, after committing to F1 until 2025 back in the summer, a new equal three-way partnership between Daimler, Wolff and Ineos was announced and it was revealed AMG would feature more predominantly in the team's branding from 2021.

“I know there was speculation in the press but we never seriously considered pulling out because it is such a strong part of our heritage and we are a brand that was literally born on the race track," Kallenius was quoted by GPFans.

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However, the Daimler chief did confirm an evaluation of F1 was undertaken which took what he called the "emotional connection to the sport" out of the equation.

“We came up with four pillars that you need to answer, in our view, with a yes [if you are to continue as a manufacturer]," he explained

“The number one is, how is the show? Is the show good and what about the fanbase?

"What we have particularly seen in the latest year through social media is really an explosion in the reach and the best news is that the younger fans are coming.

"So the 15 to 30-year-olds, through e-sports, through social media, through a great show, and I don’t know a motorsport spectacle that is better than Formula 1. That was question number one, it is answered with yes.

“Number two is we have made a very clear commitment for Daimler and Mercedes to go into a CO2 neutral future. With ambition for 2039 with passenger cars, we want to achieve a carbon-neutral position in three product lifecycles inside 20 years.

“There has to be a credible path towards sustainable motorsport as well. I have spoken to Greg Maffei [Liberty Media CEO] about this, as well as those at FOM who very much agree with it, and we put out one manifesto for the team earlier this year - how we are going to take Mercedes Formula 1 team towards CO2 neutrality.

“Technology is an important part of that. It’s a hybrid formula today. I can see the electrical piece of it decreasing.

“Yes, I can see it being a testing ground for lower carbon or no carbon fuels which will play some role in the world going carbon neutral eventually, so yes, that’s second.

“Can you credibly make the sport more sustainable? Yes, and I believe we are certainly committed to it.

“The third thing was financial sustainability and costs," Kallenius continued, this despite Mercedes spending three-times more than most on the grid in 2019. 

"The [$145m] cost cap helps and we were an advocate for it as it makes the economical proposition better, so I think we are ticking that box as well.

“The fourth one is, does it always have to be a cost centre [or] can it be a sports franchise like a football club or an American football club like in the U.S?

“We can see now that people are starting to look at this more like sports franchises.


"Getting a great and strong professional partner that knows professional sport like INEOS into the picture, the fact that someone like Jim makes the decision to join forces with us, I think really reinforces that fourth pillar.

“With those four pillars, to me the decision is clear. We’re in.”

The only small uncertainty then still lingering over Mercedes going forward is the future of their star driver Lewis Hamilton, who is expected to but so far has not re-signed for this year and beyond.

But with few betting against the German manufacturer scoring an unprecedented eighth double championship success in 2021 and an exciting future ahead, the Silver Arrows are in F1 to stay.