What better way to rebut reports that your F1 team is leaving the sport than to sign on even more sponsors on a long-term basis, and that’s exactly what the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team has done by welcoming UK petrochemical giant INEOS as a principal partner (Petronas remains as title partner of the team) and also AMD as a team partner, both being multi-year sponsorships.
During the unveiling of the new livery for 2020 (but not on the 2020-spec race car, that will come later this week), F1 team boss Toto Wolff reaffirmed Mercedes-Benz’s commitment to the sport and that reports of the company planning to exit F1 were ‘nonsense’ and written by ‘some lunatic’ out to generate controversial headlines.
“This is what we do, we build race cars and we build road cars. Formula 1 is the halo platform for hybrid engineering, something that is not communicated enough because it was talked down at the beginning of the hybrid era. It’s something we should put more emphasis on,” said Wolff during the press conference, as quoted by formula1.com, the official F1 channel.
However, Wolff also alluded to the fact that Mercedes, like other teams, are still locked in negotiations with rights holders FOM (Formula One Management), FIA and stakeholders on the commercial contract (otherwise known as Concorde Agreement) of the sport, and that he hopes to see that concluded before the start of the 2021 season.