Mercedes may scale back its involvement in F1 at the end of next year, it is being reported.
According to French weekly Auto Hebdo
it is alleged that Brackley-based outfit could become a 'semi-official' entity from 2014, with the team re-named 'AMG F1', after the subsidiary of the Mercedes-Benz car company, which specialises in high-performance luxury cars.
Interestingly, the AMG tag was only officially incorporated into the team's full name at the start of the F1 2012 season, with the 'Mercedes GP Petronas F1 team', as it was known in 2010 and 2011, becoming the 'Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team'.
Speculation Mercedes might quit the sport emerged earlier this year, but while that report from British quality newspaper The Times
was quickly played down [see separate story - HERE
], rumours persist that the Stuttgart manufacturer is far from happy.
Indeed it is believed Mercedes has still to sign up to the new Concorde Agreement, the 'secret' document that governs how the sport runs, while the corruption scandal involving F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone
and the lack of success on track, are all cited as further reasons for the re-think.
The report adds that the outfit would continue to be run by team principal, Ross Brawn, however, Mercedes would focus 'more strongly on engineering than team ownership and management'. Such a move would allow it to 'get rid of a costly team with disappointing results, while still enjoying its benefits'.
To date, 2012 has been disappointing for Mercedes, and while Nico Rosberg
did give the German manufacturer its first outright win as a constructor since 1955, when he triumphed in China back in April, since then there has been less to shout about, with just two more podiums coming its way.
Mercedes currently languishes in fifth place in the F1 2012 constructors' championship with 106 points on the board, well behind Ferrari, Lotus, McLaren
and Red Bull.