The value of Mercedes' involvement in F1 is still the topic of debate within parent company Daimler, board member Helmut Lense insists. Earlier this year, Lense was quoted as suggesting that Mercedes should be pulled out of the sport in favor of more worthy projects.

Now, in the wake of fellow German automaker BMW's decision to withdraw at the end of 2009, he reveals that uncertainty about the Mercedes engagement is still debated internally.

"This discussion will surely continue to heat up in light of BMW's withdrawal," Lense told the Stuttgarter Nachrichten newspaper.

Immediately after the BMW announcement on Wednesday, however, a Mercedes spokesman said the marque regretted the decision but insisted it "does not have any influence on our Formula One engagement".