Daimler Chair Says Mercedes, Ferrari Are '100% Aligned' On Future Of F1
Daimler Chair Dieter Zetsche said that Mercedes and Ferrari are "100 percent aligned" on the future direction of Formula 1, according to Laurence Edmondson of ESPN.com. F1 is "preparing for a period of change ahead of the expiration of its existing commercial contracts" at the end of '20. Owner Liberty Media "is hoping to use the end of the existing contracts to level the playing field" between large teams like Mercedes and F1's smaller outfits, "but has already faced a quit threat from Ferrari." Mercedes has been "less vocal," but Zetsche said that the German manufacturer's thinking "is in line with Ferrari even if its approach to negotiations is different." Zetsche: "We are the good cop and the bad cop. We beat each other like crazy on the track and try to get every tenth of a second of advantage but at the same time we are 100% aligned on our thoughts in Formula 1 and our strategic actions in Formula 1. We are good friends." While Zetsche "is keen for the brand to remain in the sport," he said that the sport also has to remain "meaningful" to Mercedes. He added, "We are there to stay in Formula 1 but of course the platform itself has to stay meaningful and develop positively" (ESPN.com, 1/18).
PRESENTATION DAY: REUTERS' Alan Baldwin reported Mercedes will launch its new car on the same day as Ferrari ahead of preseason testing next month. Mercedes announced on Thursday that four-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas will unveil the new W09 car at Silverstone on Feb. 22. Ferrari "already said" it will reveal its new challenger that day, "with that presentation expected to be online" (REUTERS, 1/18).