Wolff insists Mercedes in F1 'for the long term' after 'nonsense' rumours

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Team boss Toto Wolff insists Mercedes is in Formula 1 "for the long term" despite "nonsense" rumours of a potential exit.

Speculation has been swirling over the future of the works team in F1 due to mixed comments from Wolff himself and then a story by RaceFans, in co-ordination with AutoCar, claiming parent company Daimler was meeting this week to discuss its fate.

Naturally then, at an event on Monday launching a new five-year partnership with INEOS and revealing the 2020 car livery, the first question put to Wolff was about if Mercedes would be on the grid next year.

"Like I've always said, we are in this for the long term," the Austrian replied. "Mercedes provides a great marketing platform for our brand and this is what we do, we build race cars and we build road cars.

"Formula 1 is the halo platform for hybrid engineering - something which is not communicated enough because it was talked down at the beginning of the V6 hybrid era and it is something that we should really put more emphasis on.

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"In that respect, with all the things that are out in the media, we like the platform, but at the same time we are in a negotiation with the rights holders and things need to be sorted out," he cautioned.

"The partnership is clearly something that indicates our wish to continue our successful journey in Formula 1."

That final point did seem to leave the window open to a future exit, as its rumoured Mercedes is holding out for better commercial terms in a new Concorde Agreement.

But Wolff then turned on the report which revealed the potential Daimler meeting.

“F1 has always been a great provider of headlines over the winter break and by the sheer lack of racing results and the controversy on track, dropping a bombshell of a headline, always sells,” he said.

“And in that respect, I’m always surprised that there’s just some lunatic out there that writes something on an internet page and it’s being picked up, which was a complete nonsense story, which was put straight by the CEO of Daimler the following day."

It is true that Ola Kaellenius reiterated his support for the F1 project, but Wolff insists Mercedes won't be rushed into committing to the new Concorde Agreement.

"It's an ongoing process and it's a complicated set of contracts - a trilateral contract between the FIA, the commercial rights holder and all of the teams," he stated.

"That needs time and the devil lies in the detail. I wouldn't want to commit here to give a specific date because there are quite some topics that remain to be agreed on and it's a work in progress.

"Clearly there is the will and the wish for all of the stakeholders to come to a close before we embark on the 2021 season because that would be an uncomfortable situation."