I’ve never been in any doubt that there are some members of the senior Mercedes management who would like to go it alone with their own in-house F1 operation, but the notion that their HWA offshoot is champing at the bit to take the place of David Richards’ stalled Prodrive project just isn’t going to fly, I’m afraid.
The German media has been getting very excited this week at the prospect of a Mercedes B-team, but although the Stuttgart car-maker has the biggest shareholding in the McLaren Group at 40 per cent, it’s Ron Dennis and his fellow directors alone who would give the thumbs-up to any other team being permitted to use Mercedes power for its cars. So the HWA project just isn’t going to get out of the starting traps, at least not until Mercedes finds a way of increasing its stake to more than 50 per cent.
Truth be told, the relationship between McLaren and Mercedes has probably never been closer as a result of their F1 tribulations this season. You’re bound to wonder if they really need the aggravation of a second F1 team – even if HWA believes it can do a better job than McLaren.