American racing mogul Roger Penske may be in negotiations to acquire the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Formula 1 team, which would increase the size and reach of a powerhouse racing organization that already owns the IndyCar series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway itself.
F1 Insider reported Friday that Penske is just one potential suitor for Daimler’s works racing team, which the site said is for sale. The other is a member of Russia’s Mazepin family, which made its fortune in the chemical business, and Nikita Mazepin is a Formula 2 driver for the ART team. The Mazepin family has been linked to other bids to purchase F1 teams.
Per the report, Mercedes-Benz would make the move to get out of the daily operations of running the team. The company would remain in the constructor business and provide engines to other teams. The report indicated that Mercedes offered to supply Red Bull with its engines, a shift from the Honda engines it uses. Mercedes currently supplies engines to Racing Point, Williams, and its own works team. Mercedes-AMG Petronas is F1’s dominant team and won this year its sixth consecutive title as constructor, and Lewis Hamilton, the team’s lead driver, secured his fifth title in six seasons this year.
If Penske’s bid is successful, it potentially could be the first step toward bringing the flagship open-wheel series back to Indianapolis, which hosted the United States Grand Prix from 2000 to 2007. Penske Corporation purchased both IMS and the IndyCar series earlier in November.
F1 has been in negotiations with several sites that wish to add a second race to the United States. Most recently, Hard Rock Stadium outside Miami inked a preliminary deal to add a road race to the F1 calendar as soon as 2021, but that proposal still has to gain the approval of Miami-Dade County before final preparations can begin.
Adding a second U.S. F1 Grand Prix has proven challenging for all parties involved. Previous efforts focused on New York City and surrounding areas, but logistical and funding challenges were impossible to overcome.
(Hat tip to Zerin Dube of Speed:Sport:Life for alerting Motor Authority to this story.)