Mercedes talked about quitting Formula 1

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Mercedes chairman Dieter Zetsche has revealed that the bosses at the German marque discussed quitting Formula 1 before its success in 2014.

The Silver Arrows have dominated proceedings at the start of this season, winning all six races and claiming five one-two finishes. As a result, the team leads the constructors’ championship by 141 points, and could yet wrap up the title before the end of the European season.

However, it might never have happened if the decision was taken to pull out of the sport.

“You have to justify your spending and see that you get results, and for that reason we had to have discussions,” Zetsche said, with reference to the lacklustre showings from 2010 to 2012.

“That took place. There was not one person in the boardroom who was against racing, but we had to discuss all aspects and make the right decision in the interests of our company shareholders.

“That’s where we came to the conclusion we’re not a company for the short-term; what we do, we do for the long-run.”

As a result, Mercedes is now committed to Formula 1 until the end of 2020 as both a works team and an engine supplier. Currently, it powers Force India, McLaren and Williams, but is set to lose its contract with McLaren when the British team switches to Honda engines in 2015.

Although Mercedes’ dominance in Formula 1 may be disheartening for the fairweather fan, its presence in the sport alongside Ferrari and Renault is important, making the long-term outlook for both the team and F1 encouraging.

Dutch Grand Prix becomes fourth Formula 1 race canceled this season

EM VAN DER WAL/ANP/AFP via Getty Images
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ZANDVOORT, Netherlands — The Dutch Grand Prix became the fourth Formula One race canceled this season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, after organizers decided Thursday they didn’t want to play host to an event without spectators.

It was to be the first Dutch GP since 1985, but F1 wants to start the season with no spectators at races.

“We would like to celebrate this moment, the return of Formula 1 in Zandvoort, together with our racing fans in the Netherlands,” race director Jan Lammers said in a statement. “We ask everyone to be patient. I had to look forward to it for 35 years, so I can wait another year.”

The race in Zandvoort was set for May 3 and initially postponed. Fans who bought tickets can use them next year.

The coastal circuit has been redesigned, with some corners banked to facilitate faster racing.

The other races canceled this year were the season-opening Australian GP on March 15; the Monaco GP on May 24; and the French GP on June 28.

Another six have been postponed.

F1 organizers still hope to reschedule those and hold 15 to 18 races this season, starting in July with back-to-back races at the Austrian GP.