Mercedes may retire from Formula 1 in 2020 (update)

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Mercedes is considering the possibility of retiring from Formula 1 at the end of the 2020 season, according to the British press. Update: Mercedes denies plans to withdraw from Formula 1: “It’s not true”.

Mercedes is about to give up the factory team it competes with in Formula 1, according to information released Wednesday by journalists from British magazines Autocar and RaceFans.

The board of Daimler will discuss on February 12 the opportunity to withdraw from Formula 1 at the end of the 2020 season, and a number of sources within the manufacturer claim that this variant is being taken seriously. The decision needs to be made quickly as the team should normally start spring development for the 2021 season.

The decision is based on the achievement of the objective of reducing costs by 1.4 billion euros by the end of 2022, concurrently with a plan to reduce the workforce by 10,000 employees.

Formula 1 will move to a new technical regulation next year, and Mercedes officials have concluded that they should invest far too much money to stay ahead of the competition in which they have won all the titles for builders and drivers since 2014.

On the other hand, Mercedes would remain in Formula 1 as a supplier of engines, following the model currently used by Honda, which would allow it to continue to enjoy a major media exposure. The Germans already have contracts with McLaren and Racing Point next year, in addition to the current agreement with Williams.

The same sources claim that the current Mercedes team would be bought by Toto Wolff, who already owns shares, along with Canadian businessman Lawrence Stroll, the current owner of Racing Point. In addition, Stroll is interested in buying the British manufacturer Aston Martin, in which case the current Mercedes team would be renamed Aston Martin in 2021.

UPDATE: Daimler has denied speculation in the international press that Mercedes plans to withdraw from Formula 1 at the end of the 2020 season.

Ola Kaellenius, CEO of Daimler, parent company of Mercedes, denied the information. “It’s not true,” Kaellenius told reporters present at the annual German Auto Industry event, which takes place in Berlin during this period.

In addition, a source from the German carmaker also denied the information that the board will discuss the matter on February 12.