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Wolff: Jordan’s Mercedes F1 quit theory ‘completely baseless’


Mercedes Formula 1 chief Toto Wolff has dismissed former team owner Eddie Jordan’s suggestion that the German manufacturer could quit the sport at the end of 2018, calling it “completely baseless”.

Mercedes returned to F1 with a works operation in 2010 and has since claimed three drivers’ and constructors’ championship doubles, enjoying one of the most dominant spells of form in the sport’s history.

Jordan, who owned the Jordan Grand Prix team until 2005 and has since become a TV pundit, said in an interview with Auto Bild that he expected Mercedes to close its works team at the end of next year, but remain in F1 as an engine supplier.

“Mercedes will probably pull the plug at the end of 2018,” Jordan said. “I think they will go for the titles this and next year and then the board of directors in Stuttgart will decide to sell the team and stay only as an engine maker.

“I would do the same, because Mercedes have won everything and can only get worse from now. So it’s better to go back to their old core business in Formula 1, which is developing and delivering high-tech engines.”

Mercedes responded by saying the reports “are completely false and there are no such considerations”, with Wolff also adding a rather humorous rebuttal to Jordan.

“Monaco is a place where people like to party and it seems like somebody did a bit too much of that!” Wolff said.

“The reports are completely baseless and reflect nothing more than the mischievous speculation of one individual.

“Mercedes has firm contracts for its participation in Formula 1 until the end of 2020, and is currently in discussions about the next competitive cycle with the sport’s new owners.”

All teams currently racing in F1 are bound to the sport up to the end of the 2020 season under the Concorde Agreement, with future plans beyond that point currently being reviewed by Liberty Media following its takeover of the series in January.

Known as one of F1’s more colorful figures, Jordan has been known for his crystal ball predictions in recent years, gaining recognition for his claim that Lewis Hamilton would quit McLaren to join Mercedes for 2013.

Earlier this year, Jordan predicted that McLaren would cut ties with ailing power unit partner Honda at the end of 2017 and rekindle its former partnership with Mercedes. McLaren was quick to deny this.

Marco Andretti to drive throwback scheme to honor 25th anniversary of grandfather Mario’s last win

Photo courtesy Andretti-Herta Autosport
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Marco Andretti wanted to do something really special to honor the 25th anniversary of grandfather Mario Andretti’s final Indy car win in 1993 at Phoenix International Raceway (now known as ISM Raceway).

So the third-generation Andretti, along with his team, Andretti-Herta Autosport, came up with a plan and design that will take longtime race fans back in time when it appears early next month for the Phoenix Grand Prix.

Marco Andretti’s No. 98 Oberto Beef Jerky Circle K/Curb Honda will be decked out in the colors of the car his grandfather won his last race on the one-mile short track 25 years ago.

“When the idea of a throwback livery celebrating my grandfather’s final win was thrown around, Oberto was ready to get to the drawing board,” Marco Andretti said in a media release. “The black, white and red car resembles many of my family’s race cars and was a big part of my life growing up.

“It’s really cool to be able to add one of my cars to that family legacy.”

The car is a virtual double of the legendary Newman-Haas Racing and Texaco/Havoline-sponsored car Mario drove on that celebratory day in the Valley of the Sun 2 ½ decades ago.

Various events and ceremonies during the April 6-7 race weekend will honor the senior Andretti. That includes several of his former competitors who will be on hand to celebrate with Mario, including Emerson Fittipaldi, Bobby Rahal, Jimmy Vasser, Paul Tracy, Arie Luyendyk, and of course, son Michael Andretti and grandson Marco Andretti.

Check out what happened on that day 25 years ago:

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