Jul.31 (GMM) Toto Wolff has slammed reports Mercedes intends to suddenly quit formula one at the end of 2018.
A leading specialist outlet had reported the news that in the wake of the German giant’s title successes in the new ‘power unit’ era, Mercedes will pull out altogether after the 2018 season.
But Speed Week quotes team chief Wolff as saying at Hockenheim that the reports “border on idiocy”.
“This is pure nonsense,” he added.
And Wolff was also quoted by Germany’s Auto Bild as saying: “This rumour must have come from Mars.”
What the Austrian would admit at Hockenheim is his disdain for the never-ending controversy about ‘track limits’, with drivers penalised for creeping too far beyond the white lines and kerbs that delineate the track.
“I say ‘Let the drivers go!’ If they are pushing the limits over the kerbs, it just makes for thrilling TV pictures.
“My personal preference is that if a driver is off the track then he is stuck in a gravel bed or in the wall. But if we have asphalt there, then it is just the nature of the drivers to use it.
“Like this, we cannot be surprised if we have fewer and fewer spectators,” he added.
Meanwhile, Wolff revealed that world champion Lewis Hamilton will shortly take a penalty for having to go beyond his allocation of engines for the season.
“We are thinking Spa or Monza,” he revealed.
“It also depends on upgrades to the engine, as it doesn’t make much sense to give him a new engine and then a race later we being a more powerful specification,” Wolff added.
“That would be an advantage for Nico, so the decision has not been taken yet,” he said.
And Wolff said he is not too worried that Hamilton and pole sitter Nico Rosberg will embarrass Mercedes at home by crashing together on Sunday.
“We have made clear to our drivers what happens to them should they again behave as in Spain or Austria,” he insisted.