Mercedes could be facing the loss of not one, but two sponsors before the start of the 2022 season.
Epson, a major Japanese printing brand, have already confirmed that their name will cease to appear on the car after the 2021 season, with the eight-time Constructors’ Champions now in search of a replacement.
Headphone giants Bose, meanwhile, have not been officially announced as a sponsor for next year as of yet, and their name has been removed from the Silver Arrows’ list of sponsors on their website.
This suggests that Bose will also be on their way out, but RacingNews365 reports that negotiations are still active regarding an extension of the deal between the two parties.
Mercedes are understood to be confident that they will find a sponsor to replace Epson, as the loss of the printing company is thought to be a significant financial setback for the team.
On the upside, Sir Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas guided Mercedes to their record-eighth-straight Constructors’ Championship in 2021, while Hamilton missed out on the Drivers’ Championship to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen under controversial circumstances on the final lap of the season finale.
However, it is the Constructors’ Championship which brings in the prize money, and with many other sponsors, Mercedes are still in a strong financial position going into 2022.
Bottas has now departed for Alfa Romeo, and Williams’ George Russell was selected as his replacement ahead of 2022.
It has been pondered whether Russell will be able to compete with Hamilton next year, having claimed his first podium at the farcical Belgian Grand Prix last season.
Former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer has recently stated that he would have selected McLaren’s Lando Norris for next year, but Mercedes opted to sign 23-year-old Russell, who was agonisingly denied victory in the Sakhir Grand Prix in 2020, in which he deputised the COVID-19-struck Hamilton.
Russell was set for victory on two occasions in Bahrain, before an error from his team in the pits followed by a slow puncture ripped the win from his hands.