An article making the rounds indicates that Mercedes-Benz is considering changing its approach to Formula 1 come 2014, but the piece seems a combination of the highest speculation and badly translated French. What has been established is that the newest Concorde Agreement, the document that governs F1, has not been signed by all the teams even though Bernie Ecclestone said there was unanimous agreement more than a month ago. Admittedly, these things can take a while, but previously the hold-up was thought to come from Mercedes, wanting more say in the sport's governance and a larger piece of the financial pie.
According to an English translation of a report in French magazine Auto Hebdo, those aren't the only issues on Mercedes' mind. The translated report asserts that in 2014, when the new V6 engines come in, Mercedes is contemplating pulling back its official involvement and focusing on engineering as opposed to running an entire team. To keep one leg in, the team would be rebaptised as AMG F1 – it's Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 now – but remain run by Ross Brawn, and Mercedes would focus on supplying engines. The translated report says that Michael Schumacher would remain in the cockpit, but the original Auto Hebdo piece states that another role outside the cockpit would be found for Michael. Part of the reasoning for a departure is also attributed the lack of major success and the bribery scandal involving Gerhard Gribkowsky.
Added to the confusion is the fact that the Concorde Agreement awaiting full ratification will govern the sport until 2020. Three months ago it was written that "Ecclestone told CNN that the teams had agreed to sign up to Formula One until 2020, although Mercedes' exact position remains unclear." Depending on how M-B planned to restructure, if it's thinking of doing so at all, it would be strange to sign up for a seven-year commitment when it's toying with an exit in less than 18 months. As with everything else in F1, we'll probably know what's really happening only a few moments before it actually happens.