It would have been "crazy" for Mercedes to quit Formula 1 - CEO Källenius
Mercedes CEO Ola Källenius has claimed it would have been "crazy" for the German manufacturer to have pulled out of Formula 1.
Prior to the recent signing of the new Concorde Agreement, and in light of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis that continues to cast a shadow over the finances of any business, there was speculation Mercedes could pull out of F1.
Källenius, however, has made clear the positives far outweighed the downsides for an organisation that continues to dominate as it stands on the brink of clinching seven consecutive constructors' and drivers' championships this season.
Speaking in an extensive interview with German publication Manager Magazin, Källenius said: "We reassessed our Formula 1 involvement at the beginning of the year.
"The prices for the television rights are rising significantly. Asia, Europe, South America, interest in Formula 1 is growing everywhere.
"And the number of our young fans is exploding, especially through social media and esports. Should we throw this away? We'd be crazy."
Källenius has insisted, however, that part of Mercedes' commitment to F1 is underpinned by the sport's stated aim to be carbon neutral by 2030, aligning itself with similar road car targets.
"We will continue to hybridise cars, we could switch to synthetic fuels," added Källenius. "Formula 1 will also become CO2-neutral. Otherwise, the races would really become yesterday's event."
While Mercedes is naturally needing to cut costs in numerous areas, the introduction of a budget cap from next season and beyond at least softens the financial blow of competing in F1, while the team also now has a significant investor behind it in Ineos.
Asked as to the thoughts of CFO Harald Wilhelm, Källenius said: "He is happy that we are halving the costs and getting new advertising partners.
"Our Formula 1 team goes from a cost centre to a valuable company, almost like Bayern Munich."
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