Mercedes could push to have Bernie Ecclestone removed as F1’s chief executive, the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reports on Saturday.
The report said that even though the German carmaker has signed up for the 2013 Concorde Agreement, it is still concerned about the investigation into Ecclestone’s alleged involvement in the bribery of jailed banker Gerhard Gribkowsky.
If the 81-year-old Briton is prosecuted, Mercedes would apparently push fellow teams and sponsors to band together and demand that Ecclestone step down.
“We would not wait for a months-long process, but would act,” a Mercedes source is quoted as saying.
But an official Mercedes spokesman replied: “Please understand that we do not comment on speculation.”
Another rumour is that in the event Ecclestone is formally charged, he would travel to the 2012 finale in Sao Paulo with his new Brazilian wife, and then not return to Europe where he could be arrested.
A friend of Ecclestone’s is quoted as responding: “Nonsense.”