Recently we saw Dodge pull out of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and it was sort of a shock, as they had just finished developing a new car just for that series. We are now hearing whispers that another car manufacturer may be pulling out of another racing series. This time around we are talking about Mercedes and its involvement in the F1 series, at least part of its involvement.
Auto Hebdo, a French weekly, has reported that Mercedes-Benz is trying to find a way to not foot a huge bill for a team, yet still earn money and notoriety from the series. The reasoning for Mercedes possibly leaving has more folds than Jabba the Hut in a size-2 bikini, but the gist of it is that Mercedes is not happy with and is the only team yet to sign the new Concorde Agreement, which gives preferential treatment to vested teams and also places these teams, which include Ferrari, McLaren, and Red Bull, on F1’s parent company’s board.
Where the partial pullout comes into play is the fact that Mercedes fields engines for various teams, like McLaren and Force India, and that may continue. This could be the reasoning for Mercedes switching its name from "Mercedes AMG Petronas F1" to "AMG F1" next year.
There are also contradicting rumors that said AMG F1 will field a team, but Mercedes will stay out of the racing side and focus only on engineering. The AMG arm would be the “hands-on” entity, which could also be considered a partial withdrawal. Of course, Mercedes is denying the rumors calling its involvement in F1 “long term” and an “integral component” of their philosophy.
With all of these crazy rumors flying around and Bernie Eccelstone saying “I very much doubt Mercedes will ever leave F1,” we’ll reserve our prediction for when these murky waters clear up a little.