Shocking revelations in The Times today report that Mercedes could leave Formula One due to the structural ramifications of F1 floating on the stock exchange and the board that will control this process.
Quoted from the report: 'Mercedes, which is estimated to have spent more than £1 billion on grand-prix racing in the past two decades, is on the verge of quitting Formula One as the company is denied a seat in the new boardroom that will control the sport when a Stock Exchange float is completed,'
The report continues: 'Red Bull, the relative newcomers to grand-prix racing, and Ferrari have both been promised boardroom places by Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One's chief executive, as he lines up a float that could value Formula One at up to £6 billion.'
The report continues: 'Mercedes, who registered their first win of the modern era in China only last month, have been isolated with McLaren, their former partners, also being handed a place.'
The report also notes that the ruling regime of Bahrain is set to win a place on the board of the new company controlling the sport. This is an interesting revelation and has created yet another controvercy as to the funding behind F1 and the political reasons behind the recent GP, although it should be noted The Times was very critical of the GP taking place and backed campaign's against it. The report claim's the exit of Mercedes from F1 could result in the loss of 1000 jobs and wipe 20 per cent off F1's floatation valuation.
Mercedes have yet to comment on the report.
There's no doubt about it, Mercedes leaving the sport in such a way would be a great disappointment for all. With the team grabbing their maiden victory in China things have been looking good for the Brackley based outfit who have been showing regular improvements since their restructing in 2011. No official comments from the team or Bernie but you can bet there will be some furious discussion taking place, not only debating the 'sport' but the political structure of its future.
We all know Ferrari have long fought for a leading control, linked to Red Bull via the engine supplies to Torro Rosso both teams have long been close allies. While Merceds have lost some of their grasp since releasing McLaren from their engine contract. But it's important Bernie is there to reign everyone in and with his inevitable depature it is essential to maintain a balance if F1 is to prevent the sport imploding and hence succeeding into a long term future.
What are your thoughts? Would Mercedes leaving F1 just be 'another team' or could it affect the very fabric of the sport?