Wolff hints at Mercedes exit after 2020: 'There's nothing more to prove'

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Motorsport boss Toto Wolff has suggested Mercedes could pull the plug on their Formula 1 program after 2020.

The Austrian will not be at this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix, instead opting to stay in Europe to "focus on other topics" which could include analysing the 2021 regulations which were released back in Austin.

And with the German manufacturer shifting their focus more to electric power, including an entry in Formula E and a range of road cars, Wolff admits it will have to be decided whether F1 remains appealing.

"Everything indicates that we will stay, but it's not a given," he said via ESPN.

"We are in the middle of discussing the new Concorde Agreement. In connection with this, and independently of it, we are discussing the development of the automobile and its effects on sport.

"In which direction is the automotive world developing? In what form is Formula 1 relevant as an entertainment and technology platform? And as a brand whose first car was a racing car, do we want to stay on this platform in the long term?"

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Currently in the midst of the most dominant run of success in F1's history, wrapping up a sixth straight double championship in 2019, Wolff was keen to note that Mercedes certainly feel no obligation to stay on the grid.

"While the likes of Ferrari built their business on racing, there is another model that says 'we had a very successful run. There's nothing more to prove. We're doing something else now'," he claimed.

"Both are absolutely plausible strategies.

And though Mercedes is committed to building engines for three teams from 2021, Racing Point, Williams and a rekindling of their McLaren partnership, Toto ruled out a scenario where the works team left but the company stayed on as a supplier.

"You can be only pregnant or not pregnant, not half pregnant. So either we participate in the platform or we do not," he stated.

This certainly isn't what Liberty Media want to be hearing at a time when Renault has also announced a review into their F1 future.

And with no new manufacturers preparing to enter the sport, the implications of any decision from those currently taking part would be huge.

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