Mercedes is "on the verge" of quitting formula one.
That is the alarming claim of the London newspaper The Times, in an article written by its authoritative F1 correspondent Kevin Eason.
Eason wrote that while rival top teams Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull will get to appoint directors once F1 is floated on the Singapore exchange, Mercedes has not been extended the same offer.
"Why should Mercedes have the same deal as the others?" F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone is quoted as saying. "What have they done in formula one? They won a race and that is it."
That attitude, Eason argues, has left Mercedes "on the verge of quitting formula one", having apparently conducted a study into how its Brackley based works team could be withdrawn.
Eason also quoted Ecclestone as having "scoffed" at the suggestion Mercedes quitting could wipe 20 per cent off the value of F1's stock market floatation.
Norbert Haug has denied reports Mercedes is on the verge of quitting F1.
When asked about Eason's report, Mercedes' competition vice-president Haug insisted to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport: "There is absolutely no truth to that."
The report said negotiations between Mercedes and F1 bosses over the next Concorde Agreement are ongoing.
First as an engine supplier only, Mercedes has been in F1 in the modern era since 1993.