May 9 (GMM) Mercedes has dropped a strong hint that it has no intention of racing out of Formula One at the end of this season.
The German marque is currently arguing with F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone over the 2013 Concorde Agreement, after only Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull were offered places on the sport's post-floatation board.
Media reports have indicated Mercedes, a supplier of engines and also with its own Brackley based works team, could quit Formula One over the spat.
"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," a Mercedes spokesman told CNN.
In reality, however, Mercedes is already making plans for 2013.
On Tuesday, the team announced that the Swiss watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen has signed up to become a sponsor "from January 2013".
"It is widely recognised that motor sport serves as a testing ground for technologies that ultimately benefit us all," team boss Ross Brawn said in the media statement.
"As the pinnacle of global motor sport, Formula One is at the forefront of such development, and that leading role is set to continue in the years ahead."