Thursday, May 10, 2012

Formula 1 Needs Mercedes

In our previous article "Formula 1 Politics Mercedes to Quit?" we had detailed the machinations of the Grand Old man of Formula 1 Bernie Ecclestone.

Mercedes a much bigger name than Red Bull and McLaren. Keeping it out of the board is something which will definitely not be agreeable to Mercedes. Neither will it be seen in good light by the millions of its followers. The dispute continues to remain unresolved. Earlier Mercedes was quick to state that it is not pulling out. However, the battle is going to be murkier.

Nick Fry the Chief Executive of Mercedes team has called for a speedy resolution to the dispute over the terms of the new Concorde agreement and has asserted that the flotation of formula one shares in the stock exchange will lose its lustre if Mercedes is out. In an interview to The Times Nick Fry is reported to have said "I am completely convinced in my mind that if CVC  wish to sell some or all of F1, then its value will be severely diminished if Mercedes was not a participant."

Even his worst detractors will agree that the absence of a marquee name like Mercedes will harm the interests of Formula 1. At the moment, the only mass market car manufacturers in Formula One is Mercedes. Renault is only supplying engines and has withdrawn as a constructor. Ferrari is a marquee name, but is only in high end sports cars. So it is a niche segment. Similarly, McLaren has recently launched their sports cars. Lotus and Caterham are also very niche and small players. Honda, BMW and Toyota have already pulled out in the last five years. So if Mercedes pulls out, than a majority of the Formula One viewers will not be able to connect with the cars and teams.

In this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix Mercedes team Principal Ross Brawn will be conspicuous by his absence. It is reported that he is not well. However, the rumour mills refuse to stop churning stories. Bob Bell will lead the team in the absence of Ross Brawn. 

Formula One is about adrenalin pumping action on and off the track. Stay tuned for more of this...

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