Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has denied claims that the German marque is planning to drop their involvement in Formula 1.
Mercedes will make their first foray into Formula E from the 2018/19 season of the electric-powered racing series, a move which has many suggesting that the ‘Silver Arrows’ will walk away from F1.
The German manufacturer has dominated F1 since the dawn of the hybrid-powered era in 2014, but with new regulations in the pipeline for 2021, critics says that now may be the perfect time for them to begin planning an exit strategy.
However, Wolff insists that Mercedes remain committed to F1 and their venture into Formula E is complementary to their current motorsport programmes.
"F1 is part of our core business," explained Wolff. "The first Mercedes was a race car.
"F1 is not just a marketing platform for us. There is a direct technology transfer from the series.
"In addition, we cherish the sportiness of our brand. That’s why we want to stay in the series because it’s the only true global platform that counts for us."
He added, "F1 is clearly the top class in racing. But electrification happens, and it is a good message for every brand.
"Three years ago, I would not have given Formula E a chance. But that has changed.
"It addresses a young, urban target group. The series creators have done a good job.
"For us, it’s like a start-up we’re interested in. But it is complementary to F1 for us, not a competition."