Only by a narrow margin was Mercedes-Benz's continued presence in formula one approved by the marque's parent board, a report on Sunday claimed.

The German news magazine Focus said Dieter Zetsche, Daimler AG chief executive, recently asked the management board to vote on whether Mercedes should prolong its 13-year collaboration with 2008 drivers' world champions McLaren.

Mercedes-Benz is currently McLaren's largest shareholder, and has supplied works engines to the Woking based team since 1995.

Amid the global financial crisis, speculation continues that other carmakers will follow Honda in withdrawing from the expensive sport.

Focus claims that the management board's vote tallied three votes to two, meaning that for now Daimler AG remains committed to formula one.

The same magazine, however, said BMW might rethink its BMW Sauber-branded F1 programme upon completion of the quest to win the title, theoretically at the end of this year.

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone recently said he is pressing for the manufacturers to commit contractually to the sport long-term in order to "prevent the kind of thing we have seen with Honda".

"If they did (agree) we could sue the arse off them if they left. They wouldn't like that," the 78-year-old said.


Board narrowly approves to Continue Mercedes' F1 Participation - Report