A spat between two Britons could drive the German giant Mercedes out of Formula One, according to a new media report.
F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone recently confirmed he is at loggerheads with Mercedes over the next Concorde Agreement. But at the same time, he insisted that the Stuttgart marque is “very important to Formula One. I have always supported them and I will always,” he is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.
Indeed, Mercedes has its own and newly-winning works team, powers the marquee McLaren outfit, and also supplies engines to Force India.
Ecclestone’s dispute is with fellow Englishman Ross Brawn, who is the Brackley based Mercedes GP team’s principal.
“I have spoken to the team manager (Brawn) about it (the dispute) and he seems to believe that the team has won a few world titles and about 80 races since the Tyrrell days,” said the 81-year-old.
Sport Bild reports that Ecclestone is refusing to give in to Brawn’s demands for extra Concorde Agreement entitlements for past title successes and history. The magazine said the relationship has become so intense that Ecclestone has even refused to give a joint interview with Brawn.
“He (Brawn) was never very nice to me,” the F1 ‘supremo’ is quoted as saying.
The German report said there is a risk Mercedes will, as a result of the ‘ice age’ between the British duo, pull the plug on its entire F1 involvement.