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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-16-2009, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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Mercedes take over Brawn GP

Mercedes take over Brawn GP - Yahoo! Eurosport UK


Mercedes take over Brawn GP

Eurosport - Mon, 16 Nov 11:30:00 2009
Buzz Up!

Mercedes have taken over Brawn GP, a move which is expected to see world champion Jenson Button join English compatriot Lewis Hamilton at McLaren.
Brawn GP and McLaren - 0


Mercedes now have a majority shareholding in the rebranded Mercedes Grand Prix team along with Abu Dhabi investment company Aabar, who bought a 9.1 per cent stake in Daimler last March.

The two combined will own 75.1 per cent of Brawn, with Daimler holding 45.1 per cent. No financial details were given.

Mercedes announced the decision at a press conference presided over by motorsport chief Norbert Haug and Dr Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

"In the changed environment of Formula One, we will face the competition on the most important motorsports stage from now on with our own Silver Arrows works team," Zetsche said.

He also confirmed that Ross Brawn will stay on as team principal.

McLaren are buying back the German automotive giant's 40 per cent stake in the Woking team in a phased transaction to be completed in 2011.

However they will continue to use Mercedes engines for the next six seasons.

Mercedes and McLaren have been partners since 1995 but the relationship has been strained by McLaren's determination to emulate rivals Ferrari as a road car manufacturer as well as a racing team.

The strains were further tested when McLaren were fined a record $100 million (£60m) for a 2007 spying controversy.

"Our relationship with McLaren was affected in recent years by the fact that the other shareholders were very much interested in building up the new automotive company, including sportscars and super-sportscars," said Zetsche.

"That was not the interests of Daimler and Mercedes-Benz."

German driver Nico Rosberg and compatriot Nick Heidfeld are favourites to make up Mercedes GP's 2010 line-up, although Haug claimed that is not a foregone conclusion as the team are to be regarded as an international operation with the best available drivers.

Brackley squad Brawn won both the constructors' and drivers' titles this season using Mercedes engines, while McLaren improved as the season developed - but too late to mount a challenge.

Button, who raced away at the start with six wins in the first seven grands prix helped by certain innovations on the BGP 001, has been looking for an increase in his annual salary.

Last winter he accepted a pay-cut to help Ross Brawn's fledgling concern, born out of the ashes of the withdrawn Honda factory team, survive the initial rigours of the campaign.

"Brawn GP has been through an incredible journey over the last 12 months," Brawn stated.

"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 Aabar and Daimler's offer to buy our team which will secure its future."

Mercedes are not thought to be willing to pay the Briton - who visited McLaren's factory at the weekend - the salary he is demanding, preferring to run the talented Rosberg and Heidfeld in the hope of finding the next German world champion after Michael Schumacher.

Mercedes last ran their own Formula One team in 1955, when Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio drove for them and won the third of his five titles.

The carmaker pulled out of the sport that year after one of their cars crashed at the Le Mans 24 Hours sportscar race, killing at least 82 spectators in motor racing's biggest disaster.

The company returned to motor racing in 1988 and F1 in 1993 as engine partner to the Swiss Sauber team.
Jonathan Symcox / Eurosport
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-16-2009, 10:54 AM
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James Allen on Mercedes takeover

James Allen on Mercedes takeover

Monday, 16 November 2009 13:50

While Mercedes had been expected to buy into Brawn GP for months, the detail of how the deal would be structured, and the future of the German carmaker's involvement with McLaren, only emerged when the takeover was confirmed on Monday.

ITV.com/F1 columnist James Allen looks at how Mercedes’s realigned Formula 1 plans work out for both Brawn and McLaren, explains why the manufacturer has switched allegiances and how this all impacts on the increasingly fascinating driver market.


The legendary Silver Arrows works Mercedes-Benz F1 team will return to Formula 1 racing next season for the first time in 55 years.

Mercedes-Benz will have its own F1 team next season as it is buying 75.1% of the Brawn team.

Mercedes CEO Dr Dieter Zetsche and Mercedes motorsport chief Norbert Haug announced in a conference call this morning that the Brackley squad will be rebranded as the Mercedes team from next season onwards and the colour scheme will change to the Silver Arrow livery.

An artist’s impression of the new look car will be made public later today.


The effects for Brawn and McLaren

The move allows Mercedes to have its own brand to the fore, rather than subservient to the McLaren brand, for a fraction of the cost of what they have spent in the past on F1, thanks to the resource restriction agreement and greater commercial revenues.

The move is a massive vote on confidence in Ross Brawn personally.

The former Ferrari technical director had nothing left to prove after winning the championship this year with his own team, but here Mercedes are investing in him and he has committed to stay with the team for an undisclosed period, in addition to retaining a shareholding.

By rough estimates, presuming that he held a majority stake in Brawn GP, he must have personally made around £30 million this year from taking on the team from Honda for £1 and then reselling it nine months later.

McLaren’s Ron Dennis responded with a statement saying that the deal was a “win-win” for both companies and that his team would continue to be called Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and would retain its silver and red livery.

Mercedes will continue to supply engines to McLaren until 2015.

Dr Zetsche said that the reason for the move away from McLaren was that the two companies were not aligned on road car projects, with McLaren pushing forwards with a new sportscar, the MP4/12C which is a direct competitor to Mercedes supercar programme.

He refused to be drawn on what effect the spy scandal of 2007 and this year’s lying scandal had on their decision.

The deal in detail

Although this move has been foreshadowed for some time, the execution is subtly different from what has been rumoured.

First the Abu Dhabi investment company Aabar is taking a 30% shareholding in the team, with Mercedes taking 45.1% and Brawn directors keeping the remaining 24.9%.

It had been speculated that Aabar would hold the entire 75% until the end of 2011 when the contract with McLaren was due to expire.

By giving away certain rights, McLaren and Mercedes have arrived at a compromise which works for both parties and allows the Mercedes brand to be at the forefront of its new F1 project.

Dr Zetsche said: “Our relationship with McLaren was affected in recent years by the fact that the other shareholders were interested in building up a new automotive company building sports cars and supersports cars.

“That was not in the interests of Daimler and Mercedes Benz and because of this lack of alignment we were discussing to withdraw and McLaren group agreed to purchase 40% shares from Daimler within the next three years.”

“We can now rearrange our F1 activities with the consequence that we will reduce our F1 budget to about a quarter of what it used to be.

“We want to accomplish that in the next two years.

“The reason for that is the resource restrictions agreement between the teams and the FIA, greater revenues from the commercial rights and greater revenues from partnerships and sponsorships as the Silver Arrows works team.

“We are acquiring 75% of a team which has been very well funded to begin with.”

Mercedes is very cannily taking over a team which is perfectly suited to the F1 business model of the future, which has been built up with Honda’s money.

The company invested over £70 million in 2007/8 building up the infrastructure.

Logistically it makes perfect sense, Mercedes Benz High Performance Engines facility is based in Northampton, 20 miles away down the A43 from Brawn’s Brackley base. They are either side of the M1 motorway.


Who will drive for Mercedes GP?

Drivers-wise we are none the wiser as to what the state of play is, although Haug said that he hoped to announce the drivers next week or the week after.

Jenson Button and his management have made a big play of wanting to be ‘valued’ but they may have got their timing and tactics wrong.

They have tried to back Brawn into a corner.

But I cannot help but feel that Button should have taken the £4 million on offer and signed a contract this Autumn and just got on with it.

Brawn’s team is clearly the place to be and to risk losing everything for the sake of a few million quid when you have fought for your whole career to be in the right car, seems counterintuitive.

Button will have known about this takeover for some time and Mercedes will have been involved in the background of the decision making process.

It presumably means that neither Brawn nor Mercedes rate Button that highly if they are putting him where they are in the negotiations.

Four drivers are in play here – Button, Rosberg, Raikkonen and Heidfeld.

There are three seats available. Although Rosberg may well be the German driver sitting in the Mercedes car for the next two years, there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that Sebastian Vettel is the driver they want long term and he will become available in 2012.

You have to wonder about Mercedes’ plans for Lewis Hamilton too.

His contract with McLaren is for five years from 2008, but I can imagine that Mercedes and Hamilton would be factoring each other into their plans for the future.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-16-2009, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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It looks like Kimi's social calendar just opened up for next year.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-16-2009, 01:25 PM
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Interesting turn of events! I wouldn't count Kimi out too quickly! I think you may be seeing Quick Nick in a test driver mode!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-17-2009, 05:46 AM
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MERCEDES GRAND PRIX ANNOUNCEMENTPosted: Monday 16 November 2009 at 12:39Mercedes-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."

The new Silver Arrow team, Mercedes Grand Prix, will compete in Formula 1 as a works team in its own right. Synergies between the 100 per cent Daimler-owned subsidiary Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines in Brixworth, UK, and the Mercedes Grand Prix team based about 28 miles from there in Brackley in the UK, will create even greater efficiency.

It is our target to develop a model for our Formula 1 activities which will initially be run with significantly reduced budgets by Mercedes-Benz and which, in the foreseeable future, will be self-financing”, comments Norbert Haug. “Furthermore, we naturally want to inspire our faithful spectators and TV viewers worldwide and maximize media coverage for our brand. With Formula 1, Mercedes-Benz can continue to clearly demonstrate its willingness to compete and win on the most important motor sports competition stage in the world.”

Khadem Al Qubaisi, Chairman, Aabar Investment PJSC comments: "Aabar is delighted to join forces with Daimler AG and its world leading brand Mercedes-Benz in order to create a new Formula One Team which follows in the footsteps of the longstanding and successful tradition of the famous ‘Silver Arrows’.

“Ever since Aabar became the largest shareholder in Daimler AG, the cooperation between our two organisations has been exemplary, and we have already co-invested in Tesla. Aabar is confident that further successes will follow in this arena.

“Bearing in mind the recent outstanding success of the Abu Dhabi GP, which brought Formula One to the United Arab Emirates for the first time, it is especially exciting to realise that next year, our own cars will be in the field, with the genius of Ross Brawn, who is still deeply involved with the team, now backed by the unrivalled excellence of Mercedes-Benz across the entire spectrum of automotive technology. It is a fantastic prospect, which makes me both pleased and proud for my country.”
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-17-2009, 05:04 PM
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So we've got the English team and the German team. Should be interesting.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-17-2009, 09:33 PM
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Haug / Daimler Benz have made no secret out of the fact they would love to have Vettel, who has a Red Bull contract until the end of the 2011 season.

Rosberg will be either at McLaren or Mercedes Brawn.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-18-2009, 02:31 PM
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So we've got the English team and the German team. Should be interesting.


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-18-2009, 07:42 PM
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So we've got the English team and the German team. Should be interesting.
Both located in England...Only the money comes from Stuttgart....
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