F1: Daimler Chairman admits discussions were held about Mercedes’ future

Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman at Daimler, has admitted that discussions were held about Mercedes’ involvement in Formula 1 when the team was not doing so well not long ago.

Let’s go back in time.

In 2009, Mercedes was the engine supplier of Brawn Grand Prix when it decided to purchase 75.1% of the company in October and to rename the team Mercedes Grand Prix.

Between 2010 and the end of last year, the German team managed just four race wins and had to endure more than two years without success until Nico Rosberg took the chequered flag at the 2012 Chinese GP.

Present in the paddock in Monaco, Dr. Zetsche admitted that senior management at Daimler had to sit down and weigh the cost of racing – estimated at around 270$ million (197 millions euros) last year – against the team performance.

F1 Motorhome Mercedes

Motorhome Mercedes. (Photo: WRi2)

“There has to be an intelligent business decision and of course the motivation is marketing,” Zetsche told the medias in Monaco.

“Still, you have to justify your spending and see that you get results. And for that reason we had to have discussions. That took place. There was not one person in the boardroom who was against racing, others who were in favour. But we had to discuss all aspects and make the right decision in the interests of our company shareholders. That’s where we came to the conclusion we’re not a company for the short-term; what we do, we do for the long run,” Zetsche added.

The new turbo hybrid engine regulation suits Mercedes perfectly, and the German car manufacturer is now committed to F1 until at least 2020.

“With the objective to save fuel, be efficient and have very high performance, that’s exactly what we have to do with our production cars and we use exactly the same technical components,” Zetsche said.

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