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A string of reports over the past couple of days are emerging to paint a picture of a potentially huge reshuffle of the Formula One grid and the players involved as early as next season. The FIA and the teams are planning another round of regulation changes to further curb costs in F1, but while that might entice some, for others it could be too little too late.

First up to bat is Mercedes-Benz, which owns 40% of the McLaren team and supplies engines to both it and to Force India. Officials admit that in the current economic climate, the German automaker may have to shut down its F1 program, although remaining in the sport solely as an engine supplier (in other words, severing its remaining ties with McLaren) remains an option.

Meanwhile, several potential new teams are reportedly lining up at the turnstiles at the promise of a more cost-effective formula for next year. One key player is Aston Martin, which is pursuing overall victory in the LMP1 class of Le Mans racing this year after achieving dominance of the GT classes over years past. The company, and more specifically its racing team, is run by David Richards, who once headed Honda's F1 team and has been keen to get back into F1 despite previous assertions that he would not be rushing Aston Martin onto the grid. In the meantime, Lola has announced that it is starting development on its own F1 chassis with an eye towards returning to the grid next season. The British manufacturer competed in F1 during the Sixties under various banners before aborting an attempt to return in 1997. Although Lola makes the chassis which Aston Martin is running in the Le Mans Series this year, so far reports are not suggesting that the two could team up for a joint grand prix venture.

The reduced budgets promised for next year could entice some GP2 teams to move up to F1 as well, however by this point in the season the FIA would usually have announced the regulations for next season so that teams could begin development of their cars for next year.

[Source: F1-Live | Image: Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      I accidentally the whole thing.
      • 6 Years Ago
      There only needs to be 3 regulations in F1. Length, width, and height. Let the manufacturers build the fastest thing they can get to fit inside the given box and go race it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      but really, who cares about F1 anymore anyways? ecclestone killed it for me, and i was a rabid fan (been to 9 races around the world!). i don't even watch the races anymore (or care about who wins and who loses)!!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Nobody cares about F1 anymore....

        ...We're all just interested in what you have to say!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Everyone but you. You ≠ everyone.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Have you forgot how to credit someone with a tip off? And then use a different source....

      Nice one guys.
      • 6 Years Ago
      UP Economy: FIA/FOM push out smaller teams and play UP to big manufacturers

      Down Economy: FIA/FOM put in budget caps and turn their backs on the big manufacturers and encourage smaller teams

      The Future?
      Economy back UP: FIA/FOM turn backs again on smaller teams and encourage big manufacturers

      Meantime FOTA create their own GP racing series.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "might entire some"

      • 6 Years Ago
      Autoblog needs to stop reporting on F1 unless they can get it right.

      Mercedes IS NOT LEAVING F1. They simply said that they agreed with the proposed plans to implement a budget cap. Also, they supply three teams, not two; the third being Brawn GP.

      If Autoblog isn't going to bother getting the story right, then don't bother posting it at all. There are better sites that report on F1 for this than they.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Again from Haug:

        "At least once a year we evaluate the situation in Formula 1 and think about our future in the sport. There's always the option to change our position in F1 and simply become an engine supplier only."
        • 6 Years Ago
        Quit being so critical. First of all, there's nothing wrong with the story on the possibility of Mercedes leaving F1, as Mercedes constantly reviews the viability of it's racing operations. From Norbert Haug:

        "At least once a year the F1 project is presented to the executive committee and decided for the future... There is no special situation for formula one, nobody can predict in this crisis what the future brings... We stand with our partner (McLaren) and the current view is that in 2010 we will still be together. But the crucial functions of the team are not engaged by Mercedes..."

        They've also gone on record to say that the whole "Liar-gate" saga has not been good for Mercedes' image. Autoblog is not wrong for reporting that there's a possibility they might leave the sport. It's improbable yes, but not impossible.

        Also, they never said Mercedes only supplies engines to two teams on the grid, they just mentioned two of the three. All us F1 fans know that there are dedicated sites that report solely on F1, so of course they're going to be better at it. Give Autoblog a break... plus, it's free. If it upsets you so much, go visit one of those other sites.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What ever happened to Hyundai entering F1 in the 2010 season?