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Wolff: F1 would survive loss of Red Bull teams

NEWS STORY
07/10/2015

Toto Wolff is confident the sport will survive should Dietrich Mateschitz pull his teams out of F1.

Ironically, one of the major reasons why Mateschitz might make such a move is the decision of his countryman, who is Motorsport boss at Mercedes, was to say "nein" to an engine deal.

With Ferrari unwilling to supply works spec power units, the only realistic choice, other than a shock reconciliation with Renault, is for Mateschitz to pull the plug on both his teams.

Whilst he would be sorry to see this happen, Wolff is confident the sport will continue, in much the same way as it has following the departure of other teams and engine manufacturers throughout its history.

"Red Bull is a very hip brand and important for F1, and I hope they make it on to the grid," he said at the Camp Beckenbauer Summit in Kitzbuhel, Austria. "I hope they find an engine supplier."

Asked if he believes Mateschitz will walk away from the sport, Wolff replied: "I hope not.

"Negotiations are ongoing but not with us," he continued, according to Motorsport.com, "so let's see how it pans out. Definitely losing Red Bull and Toro Rosso would not be good for F1.

"In the current circumstances it is important to keep all teams, but we have seen teams coming and going," he added. "I am not saying that Red Bull is not different to the others, it is a great brand. But a couple of years ago, within the space of eighteen months, we had Toyota, Honda and BMW leaving the sport. They were three great constructors and F1 survived.

"So our emphasis at the moment must be on trying to keep them in the sport. If we cannot because it is taken out of our hands, then I think it is going to survive."

When it suggested that part of the problem is that there are only two manufacturers who can currently supply competitive engines, Wolff said: "We had times when you had just one engine supplier that was successful, and years when there were many more. The truth is that when you look at the years from 2010 onwards, Renault won four championships in a row and years before it was the same.

"At the moment, Ferrari and Mercedes supply engines which are the most competitive on a pretty equal level, but Renault have a lot of capable people and a tremendous track record. I think if you give them the necessary time and if you support them with the right resources, they are very much capable of bringing the right engine.

"Honda is a fantastic global car company, high tech in hybrid, and I have no doubt they will come into F1 strong," he insisted. "But there is one thing in F1 that money cannot buy, which is time. So you have to manage expectations and set the right targets. But have no doubt; give it two years and Renault and Honda are going to be competitive again."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by repco lad, 08/10/2015 9:05

"But you would expect the head of the team enjoying the benefits of the current situation (e.g. massive bonuses in the form of performance payments from head office) to trumpet that all is well and advocate staying the course. Even better for him and his mates if a superior car engineering team they are obviously scared to face on equal terms leaves."

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2. Posted by karel, 08/10/2015 6:19

"Strange to hear that from a team that turns on a loss of +- 100.000 milj euro"

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3. Posted by nonickname, 08/10/2015 5:38

"And then Mercedes will leave"

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