Mercedes domination hasn't made F1 less attractive - Wolff

Toto Wolff has dismissed suggestions Formula 1 is becoming less attractive as a result of Mercedes' recent domination, saying the series is "on a really good path"

Mercedes domination hasn't made F1 less attractive - Wolff

Mercedes won 15 out of 21 races last year en route to an unprecedented sixth consecutive set of F1 titles, extending its streak of championship wins that dates back to the 2014 season.

The domination of one team has led to criticism regarding the attraction of F1 to both fans and car manufacturers who might consider joining the grid.

But Mercedes chief Wolff stressed there were still a number of appealing storylines to follow, highlighting the team's fight with Ferrari and Red Bull through 2019 as being a major reason for fans to watch F1.

"Mercedes winning a sixth championship, you can say, does this make people turn off? But the point is there was still variability and unpredictability," Wolff said.

"You wouldn't know before the weekend if a Ferrari was on pole position or if a Red Bull was on pole position, whether Max Verstappen would win.

"The battle between the generations is something that is a great attraction: [Sebastian] Vettel against [Charles] Leclerc, Verstappen against [Lewis] Hamilton.

"This is something that attracts the audiences.

"For me the best news is that we're growing our audiences and fan base with the younger generations.

"And I think overall, we're on a really good path."

F1 saw its number of unique viewers drop 3.9% year-on-year, but enjoyed a rise in the same metric across its top-20 markets, as well as an increase for its cumulative global TV audience to 1.922 billion.

Wolff said that F1 was bucking the global trend of declining TV viewers even while shifting toward more pay TV deals.

"You would imagine that linear TV is something that should be quietly shrinking, and it's not for Formula 1," he added.

"It's actually one of the few sports that is growing the audiences, whilst we are moving certain countries behind the pay wall.

"We're looking back at the year 2019 with almost 2 billion viewers, 419 million unique viewers, almost 90 million viewers over a weekend and an average of more than 20 million live viewers for the grand prix.

"We're the fastest growing sport on social media, even compared to all the American leagues.

"You can see that we're on a good track. Liberty is doing a good job by opening up social media, which wasn't the case before.

"These are huge numbers compared to any other sport out there. So in terms of global attraction for the sport, it's there."

shares
comments
"Not a chance" Australian F1 GP will be run without fans
Previous article

"Not a chance" Australian F1 GP will be run without fans

Next article

Why F1's most exciting driver has committed to Red Bull

Why F1's most exciting driver has committed to Red Bull
Load comments
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021