BARCELONA May 10 Formula One's commercial
rights holders CVC need to reach an agreement with Mercedes
before any flotation of the sport can be successful, Mercedes GP
chief executive Nick Fry said on Thursday.
The German car giant, with seven times world champion
Michael Schumacher as one of their drivers, is the only leading
team yet to commit formally to a long-term future in the sport
after the existing 'Concorde Agreement' expires at the end of
"If CVC wish to float F1, I think they need this resolved
fairly quickly - possibly more than we need it resolved," Fry
said at the Spanish Grand Prix, the fifth round of the
championship and first in Europe.
Formula One is planning a flotation in Singapore that could
value the business at as much as $10 billion and could take
place by the end of June.
CVC Capital Partners owns 63.4 percent of the sport and
plans to retain a stake.
Champions Red Bull, McLaren and glamour team Ferrari have
all signed up to a new agreement that governs the commercial
side of the sport, including the distribution of revenues to
Mercedes said earlier this week, in response to media
speculation that they could leave Formula One, that "we are in
discussions with the commercial rights holder and we would like
to ask for your understanding that we are not currently
commenting on these discussions."
One important sticking point for Mercedes is believed to be
that their three big rivals have been offered places on the
board of Formula One's eventually floated company while they
McLaren have confirmed they have a place on the board while
Ferrari have always had a special status as the only team to
have competed in Formula One since the first world championship
Mercedes only returned to Formula One with its own works
team in 2010, after buying champions Brawn GP, after pulling out
at the end of 1955.
Their victory in last month's Chinese Grand Prix was the
first by a works Mercedes since 1955.
They have however enjoyed considerable success since they
came back as an engine supplier in 1994, winning multiple titles
"Mercedes-Benz wishes to be in F1," said Fry, whose team had
earlier announced a partnership with the U.S.-based Starwood
Hotels and Resorts chain that indicated a longer-term vision for
"I would add that F1 also needs Mercedes-Benz, it is one of
the top 20 brands globally and is one of the few car
manufacturers in F1, it is an engine supplier to three teams,"
"It can attract brands like Starwood Hotels, a huge American
company that takes these decisions very seriously...
"I am completely convinced in my mind that if CVC wish to
sell some or all of F1, the value they can derive from that
would be severely diminished if Mercedes was not a participant."
Mercedes also supply McLaren and Force India with engines.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris)