Mercedes sees "benefit" in closer Force India ties

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff says that the company will “explore all avenues” as it evaluates a closer collaboration with Force India in the future.

Mercedes sees "benefit" in closer Force India ties
Listen to this article

Rival teams have expressed concerns that Force India will be adopted as a “B-team” by Mercedes, and while Wolff downplayed that suggestion he acknowledged that there were opportunities for the two teams to move closer to the Ferrari/Haas model.

“Obviously a few years ago when Ferrari spotted the potential in collaborating closely with another team, it triggered a thought process with everybody else,” Wolff said when asked by Motorsport.com.

“And only Ferrari will know how much benefit they have generated, but there is benefit in such a cooperation if it is structured well.

“No team wants to be a B-team, no team wants to be a junior team. Everybody wants their own success, and this is something you need to honour and respect in F1.

"I think if you can meet on eye level, a collaboration makes sense. But making it happen is not trivial.

"All of us are structured, all of us have processes in place that make sense, and evaluating potential opportunities is something which we will clearly do.

“Force India is six miles down the road, or eight miles down the road from us, they are a team which punches above its weight class.

"The result [of Belgian Grand Prix qualifying] confirms my respect for them in terms of racers, and within the permissible regulations we will explore all avenues.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 overtakes Esteban Ocon, Force India VJM11

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 overtakes Esteban Ocon, Force India VJM11

Photo by: Manuel Goria / Sutton Images

Renault and McLaren have have both expressed concerns about the increasing political and technical power of Mercedes, and Wolff acknowledged their point of view.

“I absolutely understand it. It’s interesting that the administration of Force India triggered these strong sentiments. Collaboration existed before between Ferrari and Haas, and then Sauber joined the closed party. And on the other side Toro Rosso and Red Bull have existed forever.

“But I completely understand the worries of McLaren and Renault on the other side.

"I think it’s just a matter of the right regulations in place to facilitate collaboration where you can save costs, and where you can find synergies – but maintaining the spirit of the F1 regulations, that this is a constructors’ championship, and should also stay one.”

Wolff played down the role Mercedes had played in the rescue of Force India.

“We were involved, as we were the largest creditor. But not involved in the process. The administrator managed the process and kept us informed during the various stages. And, obviously we entertained discussion with all potential bidders.

“Towards the beginning of the shutdown or the week after Hungary that narrowed down to a handful of potential buyers.

"We explored the opportunities in working together and everybody was keen in understanding our position and obviously the Stroll consortium was chosen by the administrators as the preferred bidder and that is it.”

shares
comments
Alonso gives his reasons for alleged Red Bull snub
Previous article

Alonso gives his reasons for alleged Red Bull snub

Next article

Haas not appeased by talks over Force India treatment

Haas not appeased by talks over Force India treatment
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Prime

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2022
What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022