F1 must resolve Mercedes dispute for floatation

Fri, 11 May 2012, 07:35

May 11 (GMM) F1 needs to resolve its dispute with Mercedes before the sport’s multi-billion dollar floatation plans can go ahead.

That is the warning of the German team’s chief executive Nick Fry, as Mercedes refuses to sign up to the new Concorde Agreement because rival top teams Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull have been offered better deals.

Fry is quoted by The Times newspaper as admitting that the progress of talks with Bernie Ecclestone are “not as strong as I would like”.

But he warned: “If CVC wish to float F1, I think they need this resolved fairly quickly — possibly more than we need it resolved.”

At the same time, he played down speculation Mercedes is on the verge of quitting F1.

“The mindset is absolutely in capital letters: Mercedes-Benz wishes to be in F1,” Fry insisted. “I would add that F1 also needs Mercedes-Benz.

“I am completely convinced in my mind that if CVC wish to sell some or all of F1, the value they can derive from that would be severely diminished if Mercedes was not a participant.”

But a senior executive of Mercedes denied the spat is about money.

“It is about fairness,” the unnamed official told The Times’ Kevin Eason.

“We are facing a situation in which three teams will between them decide some of the biggest issues in formula one. That cannot be right.”

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