Mercedes boss Toto Wolff claims his team left Formula E due to a low return on investment despite winning the title two years in a row. The German team's Formula E division was immensely successful with Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne and has now been bought by McLaren for the upcoming season.
Despite two world titles and a 58% increase in Formula E TV figures, Mercedes decided to pull the plug on their team given the enormous expenses it takes to run in the series. The German team is now solely focused on F1, having exited the DTM series in 2018. Wolff claims F1 has become much bigger than any other racing series and overshadows them on every metric.
Wolff told the Polish website SwiatWyscigow.pl:
"I think Formula 1 has become so big that it puts everything else in its shadow. We were very successful in the DTM for 30 years. However, a point was reached where you had to invest about 40 to 50 million euros, but what you got instead was too small."
Subsequently, McLaren bought the entire MercedesEQ team and will enter Formula E in 2023 with the championship-winning team's success riding on their backs.
Mercedes boss reveals why his team couldn't win in 2022
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admits that the time it took his team to understand their early problems in 2022 cost them this year's title. The German team fell from grace in 2022 due to early porpoising problems in their W13 challenger.
The team was unable to grasp the newly introduced aero regulations and Mercedes' 2022 challenger, the W13, was riddled with porpoising in the first half of the season. As a result, the team was unable to catch up to Red Bull and Ferrari, who dominated the rest of the field. Toto Wolff claims the team's inability to solve their early issues cost them a shot at the 2022 title, with both their drivers being in top form. In an end-of-the-year review video by the team, Wolff said:
“But coming out with not understanding what was happening – and it’s a relative game, some of our competitors understood or seemed to have a high-performing car. That was particularly difficult, that it took us so many months to filter out and say, ‘well, this is what the fundamental problem is’, and it cost us the season, in effect.”
Wolff is, however, confident that his team will make a comeback in 2023, having now understood the new regulations better. It will be interesting to see whether the Silver Arrows can bounce back from adversity and return to the top steps of the sport once again.