Mercedes, Sochi, 2020

Stronger AMG brand links for Mercedes’ F1 team in 2021

2021 F1 season

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Mercedes’ performance brand AMG will be more prominently linked to its multiple world championship-winning team as of the 2021 F1 season.

AMG’s “links with Formula 1 will intensify next year, to reflect its identity as Mercedes’ high performance sub-brand”, said a statement from parent company Daimler.

Mercedes is already using Formula 1 power unit technology in the Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercar. Speaking in a virtual investor conference on Tuesday Ola Kallenius, chairman of Daimler and Mercedes-Benz, described the coming changes at the team which has swept both F1 titles every year since 2014.

“With Project One, we’re taking the Formula 1 powertrain and putting it on the road,” said Kallenius. “So it just comes natural to us to leverage Formula 1 even more for AMG going forward.”

Mercedes intends to position AMG as its “high-performance sub-brand”. It will introduce new electric models to its range in the future, drawing on its highly successful Formula 1 programme.

“AMG was founded as a motorsports brand,” said Kallenius. “The founders of AMG – Aufrecht and Melcher, the ‘A’ and the ‘M’ in AMG, they only built the road cars to be able to finance their racing.

“This is very similar to the strategy of other racing legends or performance car brands whether they’re from Italy or in the the UK in the the past, the passion was about racing.

“And Formula 1 as the pinnacle of motor sports was the highest form of performance. We will use the technology development in Formula 1 for performance hybrids and going into other exciting technologies in the future and put that into our AMG cars.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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36 comments on “Stronger AMG brand links for Mercedes’ F1 team in 2021”

  1. Here we go…. First it was Renault.

    I have a feeling these top auto brands no longer want to be associated with this ‘filthy petrol polluting’ series. It just doesn’t fit their long term plans, so they are using these lesser sub brands to slowly slip away while still keeping a finger in the pie.

    1. Agreed, it’s a bit of a worry isn’t it. It seems like the major car brands are starting to be almost embarressed by being associated with F1. So that is Renault slinking away, Mercedes pushing AMG (how long till the Mercedes name totally dissappears?) and Honda pulling out altogether. Ferrari will be the only ones left who are happy to be associated with F1. Although Aston Martin are joining next year as a team. So that will leave Ferrari, AMG, Alpine and Aston Martin as the only car manufacturers in F1 – all high performance brands. F1 always adapts and finds a way to survive, so it appears this is how it will do it in the short/medium term.

      1. Yeah, but difficult to see a future beyond the short term. Massive missed opportunities to remain relevant..

      2. @unicron2002 You forgot Mclaren (and Alfa Romeo to an extent, although that’s more in the name than anything else).

        1. @jerejj good point! Add McLaren to the high performance brands list, and then Alfa Romeo is a ‘normal’ brand.

      3. Is it a worry? F1 will always exist and if the manufacturers pull out we lose these ridiculous hybrids that add nothing to the show. Interesting reading a comment by an ex boss saying by far the biggest pollutants/expense in the team, ignoring plane travel is the wind tunnels they run 24/7, some have 2, all just to improve the aero. He went on to say why do we spend so much on something that makes the show worse. Well quite.

        1. @tony mansell

          the wind tunnels they run 24/7, some have 2, all just to improve the aero

          I would love to see this comment by an “ex boss”, given that it would be an admission of cheating under the current limits of 60 hours per week (averaged over 8 week blocks). More likely you are a few years out of date with your comment.

          1. Yes that it is true, I just read it last week but checking the date on the piece it was 2008 ! But as it was Flavio I probably should probably not have believed it even if he said it last week. :)

      4. @unicron2002 isn’t Alpine meant to act as a “halo brand” for Renault though, with AMG fulfilling a similar role for Mercedes?

        Renault’s proposal to use the Alpine brand comes at a time when the new CEO is proposing to increase investment in the Alpine division – does it not make sense for Renault, if they are trying to make that marque more prominent, to then use their involvement in F1 to bring attention to it? Similarly, if Mercedes are pushing the Project One car, which is making a rather strong association with its F1 team, why wouldn’t they then want to make a stronger association between AMG and their F1 team?

    2. Well this is the far better option when when compared with Honda’s strategy.

      I wonder if this is a precursor to a permanent livery change or whether they’ll return to their silver livery. I’d quite like to see a Petronas green W12 with accents of black…

    3. Sounds about right. Mercedes prepping to become just an engine supplier

      1. I think this is the truth.

        To back it up think about Vettel’s move to Aston Martin – he’s not wanting to race his hardest for runner up of 4th or 6th (if Ferrari get back on it)

        Lawrence Stroll convinced him something would allow him to fight for Championships. Lawrence is very close to Toto.

        So if Vettel was assured that Merc would no longer be A works Team become only an engine supplier from 2022 would level playing field allowing Vettel to fight with Lewis (or Lewis might have retired? Maybe even Vettel will Have listening to latest pod cast – I guess this depend on if the above happens…)

        With Renault branding Alpine and Merc Amg this brings them inline with Ferrari and McLaren as they build super cars – is that not where the profit is these days?

        1. I’m thinking along the same lines. First it was Verstappen inexplicably signing on for 3 years, then Wolff buying a £37m stake in Aston Martin and being undecided about his future, then Vettel and then Alonso sounding optimistic. It’s like they know something we don’t, but the new Daimler boss Kallenius could have let something slip. The new Concorde will also make it much easier to pull out.

    4. I think for Renault/Alpine, the stakes are different and it is not (at least entirely) about Renault’s image with regards to pollution.
      Renault is in desperate need to promote the Alpine brand worldwide. Alpine disappeared in 1995 and was ressurected by Renault in 2017, aiming to create a premium luxury/sports car brand. Alpine is unfortunately not very popular outside France (and to some extent Europe), and Renault is undoubtely trying to promote it. Which is why I believe they’ve decided to rename their F1 Team to Alpine, and decide to “promote” their team to LMP1 next year.

      I remember reading that Alpine’s A110 (their only model since the brand was reborn) was some kind of test for the brand : the success or the failure of this car will determine whether Renault will kill (again) the brand or develop a full lineup of other cars. I also remember, that at the time the A110 was released, some media reported that Renault was targeting around 4000-5000 sales per year, and so far, they have not reached this target.

  2. I’d like to see another manufacturer come in to F1, VW Group have threatened to in the past, F1 needs more manufacturers IMO to survive long term. Honda weren’t even running a team, just supplying engines, and now they’re gone it’s not looking good.

    1. F1 needs fewer manufacturer teams that come and go whenever it pleases them, and more dedicated teams that are permanently linked to the sport, More like football competitions.

    2. Lmao are you serious? Volkswagen Group will put their tail between their legs and quit faster than Honda.

      They pulled their LMP1 programs. The pulled out of DTM, WRC and rallycross. Etc etc. They are NOT the company you want in this sport.

      1. I know ! what the… I nearly choked on my cornflakes, though admittedly that could’ve been a VW Golf TDI passing my house

  3. Too many “A-teams”. Alpine, Alfa, Alpha, Aston and AMG.

    1. Too many “A-teams”. Alpine, Alfa, Alpha, Aston and AMG.

      @broke84 Nice to see a change in the comments, it’s usually all complaints about B teams.

    2. If Honda had decided to bring in Acura, that would be another “A-team”?

  4. I see people are reading this news and jumping to the conclusion that this is a rebrand, but I don’t think that is what they are talking about (at least not yet). I think they are simply talking about making AMG more prominent on the car. The team is already called “Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team”…it is just a case of making the “AMG” part more recognisable. If you look at the W11, it only bears two small AMG logos next to the cockpit, I’d expect that to change in 2021.

  5. More prominently than Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team?
    Dependency on big carmanufacturers only leads to the big marketing show, and cheap excuses when the marketing show is too expensive (like Honda’s excuses for leaving).

  6. As I feared, here starts the “accountancy shuffle” as F1 teams try to hide F1 budget from the new finance cap rules. Mercedes are being quite honest by openly ‘confessing’ here to a program of AMG leveraging F1 technology for the road. They’re just keeping quiet that bit where the F1 team will also be leveraging AMG’s budget for the track. Renault are doing exactly the same thing by having the F1 team run as Alpine with Renault engines, and no doubt Alfa will also be doing the same with Ferrari engines.
    This was such an obvious result of F1 introducing financial caps on the teams, and it will be almost impossible to police.

    1. So do you mean they can then buy engines at an artificial low rate from the parent company?

      1. Sorry, I shouldn’t have picked on engines specifically as they’re a capped item (€15m per season). It’s more about how you hide development costs away from the F1 auditors.
        An “F1 car for the road” to quote them directly will allow all sorts of technology sharing.
        Imagine an AMG/Ferrari/Renault version of the Caparo T1 with a V6 hybrid motor. It probably wouldn’t tell them what development path to follow, but it will tell them which paths not to follow and so use their development budget more effectively.

  7. Gavin Campbell
    7th October 2020, 9:53

    Mercedes aren’t leaving F1 – they’ve just signed up for another 5 years of concorde. But the move to AMG makes sense as a performance/sport brand. They need to have a clean/tech brand of the main Mercedes car company and a sporting offshoot.

    Mercedes is slightly odd in that other than Smart (which is all electric city cars now) they don’t have any other brands. The move to enthusiast performance AMG branded cars makes sense while moving the main line Mercedes towards electric. (Think VW where they have family/budget (Skoda), younger (SEAT), regular (VW) and performance/premium (Audi) plus they have sporting sub-brands and specialist sports cars).

    Also with the new budget cap etc it will be so much cheaper to run in F1 so it becomes cost effective to promote your sporting brand. I suspect you could end up with either the engines or the chassis being called AMG.

    1. The new agreement doesn’t ensure the presence of the team for the entire 5 years. They are free to leave at the end of each season by giving due notice prior to the 31st of March.

      I always thought Mercedes will step away as a constructor and remain as an engine supplier. But with Honda pulling out abruptly, there is no guarantee of that being the case till 2025 either.

  8. Not surprised one bit. My comment in response to Honda pulling out suggested thia was on the cards.

    Mainstream brands will disassociate with ICE to suit the PR narrative, only niche performance brands will be allowed to participate in carbon spewing “marketing” endeavours.

  9. So Mercedes moving away from brand association with ICE and leaving it’s specialist brand in place to compete in what will become a curiosity/nostaligic racing series for old petrolheads. Mercedes will now throw it’s full weight behind an electric series I suspect, perhaps even formula E but the technical rules would have to change to allow constructors.

  10. Can anyone explain to me what’s the difference between Mercedes and AMG? I never understood Mercedes’ car line-up.

    1. It’s like Ford and Cosworth or BMW and M sport. It the arm of the organisation that takes the Mercedes road cars and tunes them/re-styles them into fire breathing monsters.

  11. How many purely sporting brands starting with “A” will we have next year in F1? Alpine, AMG, Aston Martin. If only Honda decided to bring in Acura…instead of deciding to leave.

  12. AMG44 stickers would look nice 😄

  13. AMG with Hamilton as the driver. Sounds like the Black Mercedes will rise to another level of dominance? Crush spelled with a K this time. But has the message of BLM now run it’s course? Maybe 22’ is the time to change back to their heritage. Too much Black lives matter has a saturation point where message goes gray. I believe many of us now still want the message to be heard but there could be a time that the message should come natural without the barrage of pounding it down our throats as is in vogue today. I get the message and live by the need for that change. Acceptance of all sides is needed and by now should be automatic. So when AMG comes to the forefront of F1 shouldn’t it reflect the heritage of the very company itself. Thank you Lewis for your message you have helped to change our world. Now is the time that everyone should be onboard. Let’s attempt to move forward and never forget BLM. The message is heard now bring back the Silver Cars that Matter. Formula One might fear this joining of forces. All Lives Matter expect the Donald

  14. NeverElectric
    8th October 2020, 2:43

    I suspect F1 is on its last legs.
    The political mood of the world’s leading industrial countries just does not have room for the internal combustion engine.
    As the big engine makers move to disassociate themselves from their F1 teams, it’s only a matter of time before they break away from F1 altogether.

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