Mercedes to leave F1? Wolff explains Silver Arrows' view

Toto Wolff says it would be the wrong time for Mercedes to leave Formula 1 amid growing speculation that the Silver Arrows’ works team may consider departing in 2021.

A sixth consecutive title double in 2019 has done little to quell a sense of intrigue around Mercedes’ future at the start of the season.

Lewis Hamilton has been linked with a move to Ferrari in 2021, something the world champion would not deny, while Wolff said he would not stand in Hamilton’s way if he were to seek a move to Maranello.

Meanwhile, McLaren‘s decision to return to Mercedes’ supply in 2021 has prompted speculation that the Woking squad’s previous works arrangement could be revived, but Wolff says the new era of regulations give more reasons to stay than go.

He said: “All the numbers that are coming in – from audiences in the conventional TV, digital space, sponsorship – are growing.

“I think this is a sport that also with the spending cap coming in in 2021 is an area of growth.

“There will be certain thresholds that will come into the rules about joining the sport, concerning certain franchise value.

“Leaving the sport now would certainly not be the right thing to do from a commercial perspective when it’s just about to turn into a new opportunity.”

Wolff says making F1 a place that all 10 current teams can thrive is just as important as making it attractive to potential new entrants.

“Should we be looking out for new teams? If there is interest in joining the grid with a solid foundation, big brands why not have the discussion,” he said.

“But I think we should all 10 of us be proud of being part of the limited grid, we should be conscious about the opportunity and the possibility that lies ahead and concentrate on making it a good business for everybody.”