Mercedes critical of Liberty because it wants F1 to become better
|By Jonathan Noble||Wednesday, November 22nd 2017, 16:40 GMT|
Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff says that criticisms voiced by his team against Formula 1's owners are motivated simply by a desire to ensure the championship becomes better.
Differences of opinion have emerged between Mercedes and Liberty Media over engine rules and short term finances, with non-executive chairman Niki Lauda saying over the Brazilian GP weekend he was worried about the direction F1 was going in.
That has come after Mercedes was one of three manufacturers to speak out against engine proposals being put forward for 2021, because there were concerns about it creating a spending war.
While Lauda went a step further in questioning what Liberty has brought to F1, Wolff is more conciliatory, and he suggested that Mercedes' motivation for questioning what is going on is purely because it wants grand prix racing to become healthier in the future.
"I think we have one thing in common between the FIA and Liberty and the teams: it is all that we want F1 to do well," explained Wolff, when asked by Autosport.
"This is a platform that Bernie [Ecclestone] invented. It has thrived for nearly 70 years and we have responsibility to keep it great and make it even better. And that is the bond between us.
"We have differences of opinion which is clear, and it is also about finding common denominators."
Lauda said that one of the key issues for big teams like Mercedes is the changing financial landscape, with F1's team prize money income having fallen for the first time in recent history.
The pool of prize money available to be distributed to teams from the most recent quarter will be $273 million, which is 13% lower than last year when it came in at $316 million.
"In the face of cost growth of some €70million from one year to the next, revenues have declined," he told Gazzetto dello Sport.
"But where do we want to go from here? There should be ideas for generating more money, but I do not see them.
"I heard from Sean Bratches, who would like to see the drivers accompanied with grid kids. Is imitating football having new ideas?"