Mercedes has bought a majority stake in Brawn GP and next year the squad will be a full-factory run team called Mercedes Grand Prix.
The car company has bought a 75.1 per cent stake in the 2009 World Champions and what’s more, will continue to supply engines to McLaren after agreeing to extend their current deal (to be the team’s engine supplier until 2011) to 2015. The new deal also includes an option to extend beyond that date.
The McLaren Group will also buy the 40 per cent stake holding that Daimler AG have in the company over a process of two years.
Although Ross Brawn will stay on as team principal Mercedes Grand Prix have yet to decide on its drivers. Both Nico Rosberg and Nick Heidfeld have been linked with the role after it is becoming more likely that Jenson Button will move to McLaren to join Lewis Hamilton. Button recently visited the company’s headquarters at Woking with his manager Richard Goddard after he couldn’t agree on a future contract with Brawn GP. Button took a large pay cut when Honda pulled out, but is keen to ask for a larger sum now that he is World Champion. A sum that McLaren certainly has the backing to fund.
Mercedes’ increased involvement in the sport is welcome news following the withdrawal of both BMW and Toyota. However, if Button does decide to move to McLaren, will he really be able to compete in what has been termed ‘Team Hamilton’? Also will Brawn GP/Mercedes Grand Prix be able to carry their 2009 form into 2010 considering the large investment Honda made before its withdrawal that contributed to Brawn’s success this year? Time will tell, but success seems to follow Ross Brawn quite closely. Mercedes certainly have the right man at the helm.