Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has stressed that the manufacturer is in Formula 1 with a long-term vision, after the team announced a new multi-year partner on Monday.
INEOS has joined as a Principal Partner on a five-year deal and its burgundy branding will feature extensively on Mercedes’ livery, which was revealed during an event in London.
Mercedes, along with all other teams, has yet to sign up to Formula 1 beyond the end of the current agreements, which expire at the end of 2020, with negotiations ongoing.
Mercedes has been in Formula 1 as a works team since 2010 and has dominated the championship in the hybrid era, winning six successive Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles.
“We are in this for the long-term,” said Wolff. “This is what we do: we build race cars and we build road cars.
“Formula 1 is the halo platform for hybrid engineering, something which is not communicated enough as it was talked down at the beginning of the V6 hybrid era.
“We like the platform, but at the same time we are in negotiations with the rights holder and things need to be sorted out, but this partnership is something that indicates our wish to continue our successful journey in Formula 1.”
Wolff declined to put a timeframe on negotiations but is hopeful that matters can be solved sooner rather than later.
“It is an ongoing process, [it is] a complicated set of contracts, a trilateral [agreement] between the FIA, Commercial Rights Holder [Liberty Media] and all the teams, and it needs time,” he said.
“We’re analysing details, I don’t want to commit to a specific date as there are some topics that remain to be agreed on and it is a work in process.
“Clearly there is a will and a wish for all of the stakeholders to come to a close, before we embark on the 2021 season, because that would be an uncomfortable situation.”