Mercedes will not leave F1, claimed Dutch reporter Jack Plooij, on being asked if they threaten to quit should Michael Masi not be removed by the FIA. The Ziggo TV reporter said Mercedes can leave the sport at any time, however, he believes the team has gained a lot as a brand from F1 and will not quit the sport.
Speaking to the Motorsport Network, Plooij said:
“They can get out every day, but they won’t. They have been so successful, they have established themselves as a car brand so well in Formula 1 and then they get the lid on the nose. I don’t believe that a very large brand will pull the plug as a result of one such moment that is bad for the company.”
The Dutch TV reporter believes it would be bad public relations for a brand as big as Mercedes to use quitting as leverage to get Michael Masi fired by the FIA. Plooij believes the German team had too much to gain from the sport to quit over a small reason such as one season finale.
Explaining why Mercedes will continue in the sport, Plooij said:
“I think they made a very conscious choice before to continue in Formula 1. And once such a decision has been made, are you not going to change it because of an action, a race or a race result? I do not believe that.”
The FIA President and his team met with the F1 Commission in London, which comprises of team owners and team principals, to present the findings of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. There was, however, no significant statement from the motorsport body over the investigation into the season finale. It has been learned that the FIA will publish a report on the investigation after it presented the analysis to the World Motorsport Council on March 18.
Mercedes are pressuring the FOM and FIA, according to Dutch TV reporter
Mercedes are pressurizing Formula One Management and its regulatory body to bend the rules in their favor, according to Ziggo TV reporter Jack Plooij. The Dutchman believes even if the rumors about the Brackley-based team's threat to quit were true, it is only a ploy to pressure the sport and FIA to change the rules for them.
Describing the team’s intentions to pressure the sport and FIA, Plooij said:
“It’s all pressure, putting pressure on the FIA and FOM to try to bend the rules to their liking. That’s what they are doing.”
Post Abu Dhabi, Lewis Hamilton and his team dropped their protest to argue the result in court over the season finale and the championship outcome. The Briton’s social media silence over the winter break and team boss Toto Wolff’s comments in the press, however, have led to speculation over the off-season.