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.
The NTT IndyCar Series will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the third time this season but with a weekend schedule that will put the action in front of fans for the first time in 2020.
The track’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course will play host to IndyCar and sports cars series over four days. The action will begin Thursday with practice and concluding with an eight-hour race Sunday featuring the Intercontinental GT Challenge and GT World Challenge America.
The NTT IndyCar Series will hold a Friday-Saturday race doubleheader called the Harvest GP presented by GMR.
ENTRY LISTS: Who’s racing IndyCar at IMS this weekend
The name is a nod to the Harvest Classic, which was held Sept. 9, 1916 to help the track stay solvent during World War I. The event had three races of 20, 50 and 100 miles (all won by Johnny Aitken) that was the only racing held outside May at IMS from 1911-93.
A limited crowd of 10,000 will be allowed each day this weekend, and those fans will be the first to experience new video boards, concession stands, restrooms and 5G wireless connectivity.
Here’s the IndyCar weekend schedule for Indianapolis Motor Speedway Harvest GP:
(All times are Eastern)
IndyCar weekend schedule: Thursday, Oct. 1
Noon — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America test session
2:25 p.m. — IndyCar practice (NBC Sports Gold)
6:20 p.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 1 (NBC Sports Gold)
IndyCar weekend schedule: Friday, Oct. 2
10:20 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
1:40 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
3:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 1 (USA Network, NBC Sports Gold)
IndyCar weekend schedule: Saturday, Oct. 3
10:20 a.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC Sports Gold)
12:10 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America qualifying
2:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC, NBC Sports Gold)
5:30 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America pole shootout
IndyCar weekend schedule: Sunday, Oct. 4
10 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America race