Toto Wolff 'surprised that some lunatic' claimed Merc is pulling out of F1
Toto Wolff has strenuously denied a recent report that suggested crunch talks would soon take place at Daimler to decide Mercedes' long-term future in Formula 1.
At the end of January, RaceFans.Net and Autocar revealed that the higher-ups at Daimler were meeting on February 12 to discuss Mercedes' future in F1 beyond the end of the 2020 season.
Daimler quickly rubbished that such a meeting was taking place and Wolff has now had his say on the biggest rumour involving Mercedes over the course of the winter.
Wolff told reporters at Mercedes' W11 livery reveal: "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.
"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."
Advantages to F1
Wolff continues: "That is one part of the story. The other part is that with everything we do, we have to question is it the right activity that we deploy? It's whether it's in the petrochemical business, whether it's as an OEM in the car industry, or whether it's F1.
"We, as Daimler today, we see the advantages and the benefits that F1 as a marketing platform provides to us and we see the data. And that is the underlying condition why we're doing it."
Mercedes has signalled their intent on staying in F1 with the announcement of a five-year deal with new partners INEOS. The new sponsorship feature prominently on the new Mercedes W11 livery.
Wolff stated that whilst Mercedes want to stay in F1 for the long term, there are still "many areas" to address with F1 and the FIA ahead of the 2021 season.