The sport of F1 has often acted as a testing ground for much of the technology that people now take for granted in the cars they drive every day. It also provides riveting entertainment for petrol-heads all over the world. Not only that, but the Mercedes-Benz F1 team injected over £200 million into the UK economy in 2012 alone.
Prior to this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, Mercedes-Benz’s dominance of the sport has been absolute, with all six race wins, and five consecutive one-two finishes. However, it has been revealed that there were top-level discussions within the company about whether to withdraw from F1 prior to the team’s current success.
Between re-entering F1 as a works outfit in 2010 and the current season, Mercedes achieved only four wins, enduring more than two years without success until Nico Rosberg took the chequered flag at the 2012 Chinese GP. Daimler AG’s Chairman Dr Dieter Zetsche admitted that this early lack of success had caused serious concern.
“Racing is our hobby, but beyond all emotion it has to be an intelligent business decision, and of course the motivation is marketing,” explained Zetsche. “We want to present our brand, and we believe there is no better place to do that than in our core business, which is engines, cars and therefore racing, so that’s us.”
“Still, you have to justify your spending, and for that reason we had to have independent discussions about the pros and cons, and they took place.” However, he added, “We came to the conclusion we’re not a company for the short-term; what we do, we do for the long-run.”
That was confirmed with the announcement that Mercedes-Benz had now committed to F1 until at least 2020. High-performance is the key to F1 success and is at the core of the Mercedes-Benz product range, thanks to AMG.