Mercedes chairman Ola Kallenius pledges to remain in F1

Mercedes AMG F1 logo. 24.02.2022. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Barcelona
© XPB 

The chairman of Mercedes says that the internal car company remains committed to competing in Formula 1 for the foreseeable future, despite the factory team's current struggles to regain its form in 2022.

"F1 is very relevant and we will remain," Ola Kallenius told a business event this week, singling out the sport's aspirations for a carbon-neutral future as a major part the appeal of F1.

The increased popularity of the sport through high profile new venues like Miami and initiatives such as the Netflix behind-the-scenes documentary series Drive to Survive are also a factor in Mercedes' involvement.

"[It] has changed the game, so we are happy to be part of this show and to be one of the strengths of Formula 1, leveraging it for both our technology development and marketing.

“There is significant growth, particularly among the younger generation,” he added. "As far as we are concerned, F1 has a bright future ahead of it.”

Popularity aside, for an automotive manufacturer like Mercedes it's the relevance of the technology to its day-to-day business that is crucial to keeping it committed to the sport.

New engine regulations planned for 2026 will make power units more efficient, increasing the amount of electrical power produced and cutting carbon dioxide emissions in the process.

“We have decided to go down this path of decarbonisation. It is the only decision we can make, and the same goes for Formula 1,” Kallenius told the Financial Times Future of the Car summit.


"A sport like Formula 1 has to put on a show, so the decarbonisation route has to be taken," he pointed out.

“The next engine regulations will give much more importance to the electric part, and there is a clear commitment to make Formula 1 CO2 neutral," he said in comments reported by the French edition of

“For the next regulation, the proportion of electricity used on a lap will increase," he continued. “{but] we are not yet at the stage where we can run a race like we saw in Abu Dhabi with only battery power.

“Battery technology is not yet perfected, but going CO2 -free and putting more emphasis on electrification ensures F1 remains very relevant.

"There will still be a combustion engine, but it will be used as a laboratory to develop CO2-free fuels - which the aviation industry will probably need - and maybe also to reduce the footprint of the existing car fleet."

However analysts remained puzzled by Mercedes' decision to completely withdraw from the all-electric Formula E championship at the end of the current season, despite their works team winning last year's driver and team titles.

F1 rival McLaren has just announced the acquisition of the squad for the 2022/2023 season.

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