Mercedes will sell team over Chinese virus crisis (Update)

Eddie Jordan
Eddie Jordan says Mercedes sponsor Petronas will be in trouble financially from the virus

UPDATE This rumor started by Eddie Jordan is downgraded to 'false' today with this announcement.

05/04/20 (GMM) Eddie Jordan says he is "convinced" that most manufacturers in Formula 1 could quit the sport over the fallout of the corona crisis.

FIA president Jean Todt has already warned that in the period ahead, "teams, suppliers and manufacturers may have to review their program".

"The world has not only changed extremely because of corona, the values of people have shifted," said Jordan, a former F1 team owner.

"Environmental awareness is high on the list. For the bosses of the corporations, this means that they too have to rethink," he told Sport1.

"I am convinced that manufacturers like Mercedes, Honda and maybe Renault will pull the ripcord and end their Formula 1 commitment in the next two years," he told correspondent Ralf Bach.

The commitment that is most endangered, Jordan warned, is Mercedes'.

"The Mercedes leadership cannot do anything else," he said. "They have achieved everything – won everything. Under the circumstances, they can no longer win anything more.

"They will sell their team, perhaps to Lawrence Stroll, who aims to become world champion with his son and the Aston Martin brand. It will be difficult with his current Racing Point team," Jordan said.

As for Mercedes' next move, he thinks the German marque will "enter into a more intensive partnership with McLaren, as they did before".

Part of the problem for Mercedes' works team, Jordan argues, is that its title sponsor Petronas will also be in big trouble over the crisis.

"Oil prices are falling, so the oil companies can no longer afford a commitment in the mid double-digit million range each year," he said. "Petronas will therefore also have to get out.

"That tears a huge hole in the budget."

But despite his dire warnings about manufacturers, Jordan actually thinks Ferrari will stay.

"They're different," he said. "They have Formula 1 blood in their veins, so Formula 1 is not up for debate. Quit threats are just warning shots.

"In the future, Ferrari, Red Bull and probably McLaren-Mercedes will again be the pillars of Formula 1."

Jordan also thinks Sebastian Vettel will switch to McLaren for 2021, with Lewis Hamilton then filling his cockpit at Maranello.

"Lewis will switch to Ferrari," he said. "Only the Italians can still afford his salary and they know that he is worth it."