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Rumors have been circulating today about Mercedes AMG Petronas and teh possibility of the team pulling out of Formula One. WE haven’t placed too much stock in the reports as it is clear that the flotation of the sport on the Singapore exchange, current ownership structure changes, investors and a new Concorde Agreement in 2012 all make for strange bedfellows and odd happenings and utterances.

Like BMW, Honda or Toyota, a car manufacturer could leave Formula 1 when it ceases to make sense and I’m sure Mercedes have asked the question several times over. We’ve heard Daimler board members call for Mercedes to quit F1 and the ebb and flow of interest in the program has become common place.

While Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren are all rumored to have board positions in the new F1 flotation program, I’m not sure initial emotional reactions can be taken too seriously during negotiations. Ferrari have threatened to breakaway from F1 numerous times and the teams will use what bravado and weight they can to get the best deal they can. No different for Mercedes in this case.

Those who pay, play. The Times article quoted F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone as saying that Mercedes hasn’t done anything in F1 and while that rhetoric, if truly said, is just Ecclestone being Ecclestone, I would argue that Mercedes has done a lot for F1 as an engine supplier alone so that notion doesn’t carry a lot of water for me.

More likely the negotiations are in full swing and teams are trying to get seated int he best possible position they can. I’ll believe Mercedes AMG Petronas is leaving F1 when they’ve left. A Mercedes spokesperson told Sky News:

“We are in discussions with the commercial rights holder and we would like to ask for your understanding that we are not currently commenting on these discussions.”

 

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Schmorbraten

    I normally dismiss stuff like this as the usual negotiation banter, but this time it leaves me with an uneasy feeling.

  • DH

    Would be delighted if MB found a way to be the monkey wrench in BE’s feudal machinations.

  • mini696

    Bernie being Bernie perhaps?

    “Why should Mercedes have the same deal as the others?” F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone is quoted as saying. “What have they done in Formula One?

    “They won a race and that is it.”

    Oh come on… Do I really have to answer this?

  • zipthebunny

    This seems like posturing. MB is an integral part of world wide racing in general. A departure from F-1 would be a sad day. But I doubt they would pull out entirely.

    P.S. can I just say that the video from Speed TV at the right about the Rosberg incident is the reason I refuse to watch any of Speed networks coverage of F-1, that’s some great chemistry those three have…

    • I’m with you on the posturing side of things. Seems they are playing their cards as would any of the teams…especially Ferrari. :)

  • F1 Kitteh

    Bluffing just for the sake of it can make one look pretty silly if its repeated called. Ooops.

  • Fred

    Guess we are all thinking the same thing, hardball negotiations made public. I agree it is bad form.

  • I would happily watch F1 if Ferrari, Mclaren, Mercades and williams all left at once. Its bigger than any team or group of teams.

  • Tony

    unfortunately Merc are not big enough to make a dent in F1 when/if they leave, nor big enough to make some kind of breakaway threat – there on a no win situation when it comes to Bernie and money.