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Mercedes buys Brawn GP, fans unhappy with corporate gobble !

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New Mercedes Grand Prix Car

In what has come as a shocker to the large number of fans of Brawn GP who were enjoying backing a new start-up sort of team and enjoyed backing that team which even won a championship with its limited resources, the Mercedes company just bought a 75% stake in Brawn GP. Mercedes already has a 40% stake in the McLaren team which McLaren is expected to buyback by 2011. So it seems like Mercedes is dumping partner McLaren for a cheaper yet more profitable team it seems. Mercedes will continue to provide engines to McLaren till 2015 though.

Brawn fans werent happy about the whole announcement, some of them comparing the Brawn GP team to silicon valley startups selling out to a big player as soon as they see some money and success. Twitter was full of F1 fans cursing Ross Brawn calling him no different from other entrepreneurs.

Anyway, this also makes the 2010 season more exciting. With Mercedes having 2 teams with good stakes and McLaren soon losing its trusty engine partner of years, it remains to be seen how new relationships would be forged as old ones fan out. Also what is up with Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen.

The official press release from Mercedes GP follows :

Mercedes-Benz will enter the Formula 1 World Championship with its own team, beginning with the 2010 season, and Daimler AG and McLaren Group will change their form of cooperation with effect as of 13 November 2009. This was announced by Daimler AG today.

Daimler AG together with Aabar Investments PJSC will take over 75.1 per cent of the Brawn GP team, with Daimler taking 45.1 per cent and Aabar 30 per cent. The rest of the 24.9 per cent will remain with the current stakeholders. With 9.1 per cent, Aabar is the biggest single shareholder of Daimler AG. This transaction is subject to the approval of the EU and the Swiss cartel authorities.

The background to this decision are the new terms and conditions for Formula 1. The Resource Restrictions set by FOTA and FIA effectively limit expenditure for the design, construction and running of the racing cars. In addition, there will be a significantly higher income available for a Formula 1 team generated by the commercial rights of the racing series following the signing of the new Concorde Agreement.

The partnership between McLaren Mercedes has been in place since 1995 and endedits 15th joint Formula 1 season in 2009. The change to the form of cooperation is taking place by mutual agreement. Mercedes-Benz and McLaren will continue to co-operate with each other and the supply of engines could continue until 2015.

The McLaren Group have set themselves new targets, especially in the automotive sector, and Daimler understands and respects these new strategic objectives. For this reason, it has been agreed that the buy-back by the McLaren Group of the 40 per cent McLaren share owned by Daimler AG will be completed by 2011.

By taking this decision, Mercedes-Benz resumes its marvellous motor racing history on the 75th anniversary of the Silver Arrows, the world’s most unique racing cars. Mercedes wants to continue the tradition in the style of these flawless Silver Arrows, which put their stamp on each era by winning the majority of the races they competed in.

“Mercedes-Benz is the most valued and best-known premium automotive brand in the world. This brand looks for competition of the utmost quality in all relevant fields in order to continually improve its performance in the face of such new challenges”, explains Dr. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

“Due to the new Formula 1 environment, we will face the competition in future on the most important motor sports stage with our own Silver Arrow works team. “

“Our new Silver Arrow Formula 1 team is a great sporting and technical challenge and we will tackle this with sporting spirit and full of enthusiasm.”

Mercedes-Benz will restructure their Formula 1 programme and work hard to achieve further savings, going beyond the already completed steps for significant cost reductions and improved efficiency.

Since 1995, the beginning of the partnership, McLaren and Mercedes-Benz have competed in 256 Grand Prix events and have achieved 60 victories. In 1998, 1999 and 2008, the British-German team won the drivers’ World Championships, as well as the World Constructors’ Championship in 1998. The McLaren Mercedes team became runner-up in the World Championships ten times, with five times in the drivers’ and constructors’ rankings respectively.

After winning the drivers’ title with Lewis Hamilton last year, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes finished third in the World Constructors’ Championships this year. The 2008 World Champion won two races with his current car, the MP4-24, achieving a first historic victory with the brake energy-recovery system, KERS Hybrid. No other driver scored more points in the last eight races from the season’s total of 17 races than Lewis Hamilton.

I want to thank McLaren for a successful collaboration over the last decade and a half, says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. For the benefit of both Mercedes and McLaren, we will continue our partnership cooperation in future. We will be rivals on-track but, off-track, we will cooperate with McLaren and the other teams in order to create the best possible product for spectators worldwide.

We look back on 15 successful years of great collaboration with McLaren; in that time, we won four world-championship titles and finished ten times as runner-up in the drivers and constructors rankings, states Norbert Haug, Vice-President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport. Since the first victory in the 1997 Australian Grand Prix, the modern Silver Arrows have achieved a total of 60 victories in 223 races to ensure that our brand symbol, the star, stands for the greatest successes in Formula 1. We thank our partner and will continue to work with McLaren based on an excellent partnership.

Mercedes Grand Prix, the management team of the former Brawn GP team, will continue to work under the leadership of Ross Brawn, who will continue in his well-known role. The Formula 1 team, as well as the engine team of Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines, will be co-ordinated by Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, headed by their Vice-President, Norbert Haug.

“Brawn GP has been through an incredible journey over the last 12 months. From fighting for our survival to forging a strong relationship with Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines, winning both the Constructors and Drivers World Championships, and now accepting Daimler and Aabars offer to buy our team, which will secure its future, Team Principal Ross Brawn looks back on a difficult beginning of the year which eventually turned into an extremely successful season.

“Both I and my fellow Directors at Brawn GP are incredibly proud of our staff, drivers and everyone associated with our team and thank them for their commitment, outstanding teamwork and their focus on achieving results in sometimes difficult circumstances. The senior management group will remain in place to lead our team and on behalf of everyone at Brawn GP, we are honoured to be representing such a prestigious brand as Mercedes-Benz in Formula One next year and will be working together to do our best to reward their faith in our team.”

Written by Formula One Addict

November 17th, 2009 at 12:46 pm

Jenson Button and Brawn GP in contract cat and mouse game

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jenson button celebrating championship victory with brawn team

Jenson Button seems to be riding high and Brawn GP look all set to pay for his success if the reports suggesting an 8 million pound pay cheque for Jenson Button are to be believed.

Ross Brawn was quoted as saying :

“Jenson’s obviously a great driver so he’s got to be a target. We want him  to stay in the team and I think we’ll find a solution.

“Jenson has a contract with us but that contract is not the salary of a world champion, not the salary of a team that is in a much stronger position than it was 10 months ago.

“We’re working with Jenson to find a balance between what we can afford and what he feels is fair for his status and the contribution he can make in the future.”

There is talk in the paddock that Jenson Button could head to McLaren as Lewis Hamilton’s teammate. After he won the constructor’s championship he is hot property and the 5 million pound paycut he took after the sell-out by Honda now seems to have been a blessing in disguise for the Brit driver who couldn’t get much success in formula one till this season with Brawn GP. Brawn GP got him a winning car which was much faster than all other F1 cars and essentially gave the title in his lap.

Button just needs to keep one thing in mind, he shouldn’t play this dangerous game. He is apparently playing hard to catch. Reminds me of the saying :

“Never forget the people whom you meet on the way up, because these are the people you will meet on your way down “ 🙂

Written by Formula One Addict

October 26th, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Jenson Button is the 2009 FIA formula one world champion

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 Jenson Button enjoying his maiden world title

It took him years, many years, many many years but Jenson Button who seemed to be headed nowhere at the start of the season has silenced his critics. He has won the 2009 formula one world championship with a 5th place finish here at Brazil. Brawn GP scored a double victory with them also snatching the 2009 constructor’s championship in their maiden year as the Brawn GP outfit. One can just imagine Honda kicking themselves in the behind for letting this winning team go, all they needed was some new inspiration and a little smart interpretation of the rules (both courtesy Ross Brawn 😛 )

In the end Felipe Massa waved the chequered flag for Jenson Button who will finally have more limelight than compatriot Lewis Hamilton, congratulations to him !

Brawn GP and Jenson Button

Written by Formula One Addict

October 19th, 2009 at 8:13 am

Lets go to Brazil for the formula one driver championship finale !

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First a video from the McLaren team and Vodafone :

Dusk Til Dawn – The race is on to get Lewis and Heikki’s cars to the Italian Grand Prix in Monza -at a maximum speed of just 56 mph – aboard the team’s Mercedes Transporter, driven by Hugh and Roy.

I was reading Ed Gorman’s blog where he was mentioning the same thing about the finale at Brazil, how last year Lewis Hamilton sealed his championship at the formula one Brazilian Grand Prix. this year may not be much different, Jenson Button should look to seal the deal at Brazil and not Abu Dhabi.

Rubens and Vettel wont make it easy though, they can smell the blood and would surely want to dent Jenson Button’s maiden title hopes. But the bigger question is even if he wins the title, people will remember it as the season where complicated ever changing rules decided the championship and not the cars or the drivers. Brawn GP were no where on the scene before the start of the season, so much so that Honda had dropped it as a loss making division 😛 , and for those who might have blinked twice during the start of the 2009 formula one season would have found themselves really confused as to who these Brawn GP people are and why are they dominating.

Coming back to the point then, Jenson Button is pretty comfortable with his 85 points, Barrichello lags at 71 and Vettel is further behind at 69. So unless Button messes up big time, he should see the title in his hands.

Onto other news then, Felipe Massa is back testing in Italy , however Ferrari have ruled out that he will drive in a race again in 2009, but its good news nonetheless.

Anyway, back to studying for me, enjoy the great sport that F1 is 😀

Written by Formula One Addict

October 14th, 2009 at 5:19 am

F1 heads to Monaco as fear over future looms

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Formula One’s survival is on the line. On one side are some of its biggest teams which bring millions to formula one and on the other side is Max Mosely who seems to be hell bent on implementing the proposed rule changes for the 2010 formula one season which introduce budgetary caps and a two tier teams system.

So now heading into Monaco which is one of the swankiest formula one grand prix, one wonders what next year would be like ? Would there be no Ferrari and Renault ? Its reported that 7 teams wont be filing by next week’s deadline.

So getting back to the GP, Brawn GP’s Jenson Button is on home turf (technically anyway). He would be poised to claim another win and win the season in record time. Lewis Hamilton is also hopeful of resurgence and is hoping that his McLaren would be able to perform. In an interview he was hopeful for a top 5 finish at this week’s event.

In other news Campos racing has applied for the constructor’s places in the 2010 formula one season. They are one of the first (the first?) teams to do so.

Anyway, this weekend is crucial for the survival and future of formula one. The gut feeling inside me says all will be solved though. Till then, Ciao !

Written by Formula One Addict

May 22nd, 2009 at 1:39 pm

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