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Mercedes plays down suggestions it will quit F1

ESPNF1 Staff
May 7, 2012 « Boullier unhappy about shifting Young Driver Test to UK | Sauber close to the podium - Morris »
Mercedes is still negotiating its position under the next Concorde Agreement © Getty Images

Mercedes has played down reports it is considering quitting Formula One over the proposed terms of the next Concorde Agreement.

On Monday the Times reported that Mercedes is on the verge of quitting because, unlike rivals Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren, it has not been offered a seat on F1's board after the sport floats on the stock exchange.

In March Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren reached "commercial agreements" with Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One Group on the basis that they would be given seats on the board under the next Concorde Agreement. They also stand to gain over Mercedes under a new bonus scheme that will see more prize money for teams that have not made a name change since 2000, with further payments for those that have won constructors' championships and back-to-back championships.

The Times quoted Ecclestone as saying: "Why should Mercedes have the same deal as the others? What have they have they done in Formula One? They won a race and that is it."

But when asked about the speculation in the Times article, a spokeswoman told ESPNF1 that private negotiations with Ecclestone are still ongoing.

"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."

Talking about the Times story, Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug told Auto Motor und Sport: "There is absolutely no truth to that."