If Mercedes loses tribunal, will they exit F1?

A key group of Mercedes-Benz shareholders are said to be pushing for the brand's exit from Formula 1.

The main factor in the negative sentiment appears to be growing tension surrounding the tire test undertaken with the sport's sole supplier Pirelli, though a lack of significant success is also a factor.

A large group of private shareholders are said to be viewing Thursday's FIA international tribunal as a line in the sand. Should Mercedes be punished for their part in the test, they will strengthen their calls for a Formula One exit.

Some, however, already believe the time has come to abandon the sport.

Union Investment manager Michael Muders said: "Mercedes-Benz must get out of F1.

"The company spends hundreds of millions here, and it doesn't bring anyone anything."

[Are they saying that so the tribunal goes easy on them?]

That is not a view shared by all, though.

Mercedes AMG's new non-executive chairman and three-time F1 World Champion Niki Lauda is of the view that Mercedes benefits from its participation in the sport, while Head of global communications for Daimler, Jorg Howe, was quoted back in February as saying Mercedes-Benz's involvement in F1 was "not up for debate".

"We have created new structures to ensure long term success and will soon be on top," said Howe.

"We do not want to pull out of Formula 1. On the contrary." Planet F1

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