APRIL 18, 2012

Mercedes at odds with Ecclestone over Concorde

Mercedes still has not signed up to a new F1 commercial agreement beyond the current Concorde Agreement, which expires at the end of this year.

Commercial rights holders CVC Capital partners and Bernie Ecclestone are believed to have come to agreements with Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull, with leaked documentation suggesting favourable agreements for both Ferrari, based on its long-term historic participation, and Red Bull Racing - for two consecutive recent championship successes.

Mercedes is believed to be unhappy with the deal it has been offered. Although the company's participation in F1 dates back to the fifties, the team withdrew at the end of 1955, after the Le Mans disaster, and only returned in 2010.

Ecclestone is said to be claiming that the current team has its roots in Tyrrell, which was bought by BAR in the mid nineties and became Honda, then Brawn, and finally Mercedes. He believes, therefore, that the team that won its first GP since September 1955 in Shanghai last weekend, has little claim on historical bonuses.

Mercedes, on the other hand, currently supplies engines to three F1 teams (the works outfit, McLaren and Force India), with new engine regulations coming in for 2014. As such, it could be viewed to be a key commercial element of the F1 circus.