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Hamilton and Mercedes react to media reports


While there was a certain amount of credibility to the media claim that Lawrence Stroll, the Canadian billionaire whose consortium bought Force India last year, making a significant bid for Aston Martin, the story has taken another giant leap in recent days.

In short, it is claimed that Stroll is also looking to buy the Mercedes F1 team, as well as Aston Martin, with the six - possibly seven - time world champions being renamed after the car manufacturer, with Toto Wolff also buying a significant stake in the car company.

The newly named Aston Martin F1 team would take up where Mercedes leaves off at the end of this season, and amidst talk Wolff would be employed running the road car company and its F1 team, Stroll would sell Racing Point, with failed Force India bidder, Dmitry Mazepin said to be the potential buyer.

Though no mention is made of who would drive the Aston Martins, and it highly unlikely that Wolff would wish to employ Lance Stroll, the story has led to further claims of Lewis Hamilton joining Ferrari in what the media insists would be a dream move - though try telling that to Fernando Alonso or Sebastian Vettel.

The report claims that car giant Mercedes is looking to leave F1 at the end of this year, the possibility of a seventh consecutive title-double being the perfect opportunity, not to mention the desire to quit the sport before a new team agreement has to be signed, or indeed the company's bid to reduce its spending and indeed the prevailing attitude towards F1 in terms of the environment and the increasing move towards electric and hybrid vehicles for the road.

While the report cites a meeting of Mercedes bosses on the 12th of next month, when asked to confirm this, a senior source at Daimler, Mercedes parent company, denied this.

"Not true," Daimler Chief Executive, Ola Kaellenius told Reuters at the German Auto Industry annual reception in Berlin.

Meanwhile, amidst talk of Hamilton looking to leave Mercedes to join Ferrari at season end after failing to agree a new contract, the Briton took to social media, as he so often does.

"FYI Toto and I have not even spoken about contract yet," he said in a post on Instagram. "Nothing is being negotiated currently, papers making up stories."

While there has been speculation over the futures of Mercedes, Wolff and Hamilton for some time, the recent media claims have taken this to a whole new level.

Hamilton previously said that in terms of his future he wanted to see what Wolff's plan were, the Austrian having been linked with Chase Carey's role as F1 supremo.

Though Mercedes has long-term contracts to provide engines for McLaren, Racing Point and Williams, Wolff, who owns 30% of the team, with another 10% held by Niki Lauda's estate, had previously said that if Mercedes quit as a constructor it would also quit as an engine supplier.

Aside from the comments from Daimler and Hamilton, there are many aspects to the story which don't add up, and though F1 bosses may be delighted that Mercedes would remain in F1 - albeit as Aston Martin - one has to wonder at the subsequent potential threat to the sport.

While ditching Racing Point for Mercedes might make good business sense for Stroll, assuming he did buy the Brackley outfit, what with Mazepin potentially buying Racing Point and Michael Latifi hovering in the background at Williams, this would mean three billionaires essentially buying teams to further the careers of their sons.

When one considers the long term fears that Red Bull (and Toro Rosso) owner, Dietrich Mateschitz might one day wake up and decide he’s had enough of F1 - much like Tata did recently, and Gene Haas may well be considering - the thought of two or three more teams facing such an unstable future is the last thing the sport needs.

Furthermore, should he buy Racing Point, would Mazepin pick up where Stroll left off in terms of the various ambitious plans, not least the new factory.

If nothing else, at a time of year when genuine news is thin on the ground, this particular story has got people talking (and clicking).


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1. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 03/02/2020 18:31

"@Fambank - I give Lance one more season to show what he can do or he'll be on his own to secure a seat."

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2. Posted by Spindoctor, 31/01/2020 9:27

"Almost as much speculation as on the "Today" programme on BBC R4!
I think it would make perfect sense for Corporate Mercedes to quit at the end of 2020. Even to a company as large as Mercedes, F1 is an expensive peccadillo, and it neds to show something positive in the bottom line. Although you can't prove a 'negative', it seems that dominating F1 for the last few years has cost a fortune, but sold very few extra cars.
Mercedes has now joined the Formula E gang, and is doing pretty well, for a newcomer. Not dominant, but displaying impressive potential. FE is substantially cheaper than F1, and while its also significantly less popular, it can be spun to have enormous 'real world' benefits to be 'green' and so-on. Given the current climate[sic] FE might deliver 90% of the benefit for 10% of the cost of continuing in F1. Should F1 survive, Mercedes can actually profit by supplying powertrains to the remaining teams....

As to the rest, well, like another current British concern: that's all politics. Daimler-Benz will make a decision about F1 based on purely rational grounds. I suspect they will leave, for the reasons I have alluded to. Toto Wolff will make his decision in an equally rational & unsentimental way. I believe that Mercedes FE team is part of Mercedes Racing - so he too has an entree to another future should he decide to dump F1. Lewis Hamilton may decide to call it quits if he gets the title in 2020 I hope not. I'm pretty sure that following all this may prove at least as interesting as the 2020 F1 season!

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3. Posted by Uffen, 30/01/2020 21:31

""Mercedes will remain in F1, albeit as Aston Martin." That says it all. Marketing, Marketing, Marketing.
It's no wonder so many are cynical about F1.
As for the idea that Mercedes will exit F1... never believe the rumour until you hear the official denial. "

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4. Posted by Malbec, 30/01/2020 19:55

"This is by no means as far fetched as it might seem, Mercedes car sales are down, if they become 2020 world driver and constructor champions it would be a fitting time to withdraw from the sport as constructors however as a power train suppliers it makes sense to retain the facility not only for Mercedes engine development in conjunction with AMG but also as an F1 engine supplier to McLaren, Mazpin/Racing Point, Williams, Aston Martin nee Mercedes F1. Mercedes will have saved themselves a considerable amount of investment but from a publicity point of view very little. Aston Martin desperately needs Wolf, who is exceedingly financially savvy and also as he has shown to be an excellent manager of companies who better to run both the F1 and AM road car side. Aston Martin road cars already use Mercedes engines and with Strolls investment I could see this working to everyone's advantage. Lance Stroll could join Latifi at a rejuvenated Williams leaving Hamilton and Bottas at Aston Martin F1. If either Hamilton or Bottas jump ship then there is George Russell top fill the gap. The only looser in this would be the current Aston CEO and would he actually be missed by the current AM shareholders? "

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5. Posted by Fambank, 30/01/2020 19:05

"Should there be a truth to these rumours, and should Stroll buy Mercedes, then one can only assume it is to
give Lance a seat in a top 3 team car.

Whereas until now Lance only has been mocked as "daddy bought him a team but there is no talent" there lay other dangers ahead.
He will be totally annihilated by all the other drivers in the other 5 top 3 cars.
And I expect the critics to take all the gloves off, and try to humiliate him and Sugardaddy to the bone.

Now Stroll snr, do you really want that ? "

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