Toto Wolff has revealed that Mercedes pulled out of Formula E due to low TV viewership numbers.
The team competed in the all-electric championship for three years, two of which were championship-winning with Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne.
At the end of this year they pulled out, instead selling the team to McLaren. Speaking about why they chose to exit in an interview with SwiatWyscigow.pl, Wolff said F1 has become so popular that it has "dwarfed" other championships.
"I think that F1 has become so big that everything else has been dwarfed. We were really happy, successful in DTM for over 30 years," he said.
"But it has come to a point where the works team, if you wanted to compete, you need 40 or 50 million euros and the return on investment was too small for that."
Viewed by others:
Formula E audiences "not good enough"
Formula E claims it experienced a 20% growth in audience numbers year-on-year, as live TV viewership increased to 216 million worldwide. By comparison, F1 recorded TV audiences of 445 million worldwide in 2021.
Wolff explains that the investment needed to keep running the team was not justified amid the low audience numbers compared to other championships.
He added: "It’s the same in Formula E, the audiences were just not good enough. So you have DTM there, and then you have Formula E here, and then you have F1 in the whole room.
"So, we decided that let's concentrate on doing that properly and put the resources into F1, rather than being distracted and dilutive for the other things."
F1 Podcast: A tech breakthrough and political firestorms
RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth look back on 2022 and discuss the key issues that emanated from a year of considerable change in F1.