Daimler rejects 'irresponsible' new reports over future of Mercedes F1 team

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Daimler has strongly rejected new reports that it could pull the plug on Mercedes' Formula 1 team after 2020.

On Thursday, German media suggested a deal was being made to sell the Brackley-based outfit to Racing Point owner Lawrence Stroll in return for a greater stake in Aston Martin, where the Canadian is executive chairman.

As part of that deal, current Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff, who owns a 30 per cent stake in the team, would leave his position after 2020 but take up an advisory role akin to that held previously by Niki Lauda.

However: "Speculation regarding a potential withdrawal from Formula 1 continues to be unfounded and irresponsible," Daimler said in a statement to the media.

"The sport has taken the right measures to address the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and its future financial sustainability, and we welcome these steps.

"It is our clear intention to continue competing in Formula 1 as a Mercedes-Benz works team in the years to come, and to do so with our managing partner Toto Wolff."

Of course, such denials should be expected at this stage, but with Mercedes largely quiet in recent talks over F1's future and reluctant to start negotiations with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas over new contracts, there are enough signs that something is going on behind the scenes.