F1 bosses convinced Mercedes to save German GP
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admits that a pitch from Formula 1 chiefs Chase Carey and Sean Bratches convinced the Stuttgart manufacturer to support the 2019 German Grand Prix.
Mercedes was announced as the title sponsor of next year’s Hockenheim race when the 2019 calendar was revealed, after the German venue concluded a one-year extension with Liberty.
Wolff has always maintained that Mercedes would not get involved in promoting or supporting its home race.
However he insists that circumstances have changed, and that his bosses were convinced by Carey and Bratches that their input would make a difference.
“In Hockenheim on Sunday morning some of our board members were there and Chase and Sean pitched it very well,” he said when asked by Motorsport.com.
“We had full grandstands, lots of action, and enthusiastic crowds at Hockenheim, and they asked if we were able to bridge the [financial] gap.
“When they left we gave it some consideration, and had some negotiations over the shutdown. And then I pitched it back to the board and the board decided, ‘We do it, we want to keep the German GP.’”
Wolff confirmed that Mercedes will see how the 2019 event goes before deciding on a longer-term involvement with the race.
“I think it’s about finding out how we can best activate the German GP next year and see how to maximise it for the fans, for Mercedes people and for us," he said.
"We will try to put on a good show, display cars, and decide whether it works for us and whether we want to continue or not. We have an option for 2020.”
Smoke flares are ignited in the crowd
Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / LAT Images
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