Mercedes acquires Brawn GP

The interesting twist of the week has been the inability to sign or re-sign World Champion Jenson Button at Branw GP. As odd as that has sounded for the past few weeks, it seems to become very clear now as Mercedes has announced the acquisition of Brawn GP by purchasing 75.1% of the shares in the World Championship winning team. Mercedes cars, Dr Dieter Zetsche said:

Brawn Mercedes

“Mercedes will compete in the F1 world championship next year starting with its own factory team,”

“This is possible by the agreed acquisition of 75.1 per cent of Brawn GP, 45.1 per cent from Daimler and 30 per cent from our partner Aabar Investments. The rest will be with the current share – Ross Brawn, Nick Fry and other members. The interests of Daimler are aligned therefore it will be a true Mercedes-Benz team.

“Ross Brawn will continue to be the team principal and thereby we are maintaining his strength. Just like the engine team at Mercedes Benz High Performance Engines, the new Mercedes Benz grand prix team will be co-ordinated by Mercedes Benz Motorsport which is as everybody knows headed by Norbert Haug.”

While it has been rumored for some time, the move certainly props up the operating capital and overall complete mission of the team which will operate from its current location. A title-winning team headed by the singular Ross Brawn is a enticing package for Mercedes and its investment in Brawn GP is antithetical to the recent moves by Honda, BMW and Toyota who left the series under financial stress.

Ross Brawn said:

“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,” he said.

“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.”

It has been suggested that Nico Rosberg closed a deal with Mercedes a few weeks ago that will see him at the wheel of the new Mercedes while Norbert Haug has been in discussions with former BMW driver Nick Heidfeld about the second seat. A driver lineup that I personally like as both are German and bring a distinct skill and benefit to the team. Jenson Button’s flirtatious position over the last few weeks with McLaren becomes more relevant as Mercedes may not be too keen on the Britains services.

This leaves a large question mark for McLaren. Do they sign Kimi Raikkonen or Jenson Button? They have been down the road with Raikkonen before and may find Button’s salary requirements more palatable than the Fin’s. They may also relish the idea of an entirely English team to start their new future endeavors without Mercedes. Either way, the British team is certainly placed in a new position and while securing the engine supply of Mercedes until 2015 is a help, it can’t be the position they ultimately wanted.

This also offers questions as to the mentoring and continued support of Force India via McLaren’s technical partnership. Will they remain a priority or will the price tag of such support rise significantly? Mercedes is now a full-on constructor in F1 and McLaren’s position has been even more solidified as one of the largest privateers in the sport. What net effect will it have on FOTA, F1, racing and perhaps most immediately, the world champion?

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