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16 Nov 2009

Mercedes-Benz acquires Brawn GP team

Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Brawn Grand Prix BGP 001.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Friday, 28 August 2009 McLaren MP4/24 front wing detail
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Chinese Grand Prix, Preparations, Shanghai, China, Thursday, 16 April 2009 A knowing grin from Brawn GP team principal Ross Brawn Norbert Haug (GER) Mercedes Sporting Director, Ross Brawn (GBR) Brawn Grand Prix Team Principal and Dr. Dieter Zetsche (GER), CEO of Daimler AG.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Race, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sunday, 1 November 2009 Jenson Button (GBR) Brawn Grand Prix BGP 001.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 29 August 2009

German car giant Mercedes-Benz has taken over Brawn GP, it was announced on Monday. Mercedes engines powered Brawn to victory in both the 2009 drivers’ and constructors’ championships. The team is expected to be rebranded Mercedes GP for next season, with Ross Brawn remaining as team principal.

Mercedes will also continue to supply long-term partners McLaren with engines until at least 2015, but the company’s 40 percent shareholding in the team will be reacquired by McLaren over the next two years.

Along with its investors Aabar, Mercedes’ parent company Daimler AG will take over a 75.1 percent stake of Brawn GP, the team formed by Ross Brawn and his colleagues less than a year ago after previous owners Honda announced their withdrawal from Formula One racing.

"Brawn GP has been through an incredible journey over the last 12 months,” said Brawn. “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 Aabar's offer to buy our team, which will secure its future.

“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."

According to Mercedes, the decision to step up their level of Formula One involvement was prompted by recent agreements on ways of cutting expenditure in the sport and by the higher levels of income afforded to teams following the signing of the new Concorde Agreement earlier this year.

“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,” explained Dr Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

“Due to the new Formula One 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 One team is a great sporting and technical challenge and we will tackle this with sporting spirit and full of enthusiasm.”

Brawn GP’s UK factory in Brackley is less than 30 miles from Mercedes’ Formula One engine plant at Brixworth, which should make for a highly-efficient operation to be coordinated by the familiar figure of Norbert Haug, Vice-President of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport.

“It is our target to develop a model for our Formula One activities which will initially be run with significantly reduced budgets by Mercedes-Benz and which, in the foreseeable future, will be self-financing,” commented Haug.

“Furthermore, we naturally want to inspire our faithful spectators and TV viewers worldwide and maximize media coverage for our brand. With Formula One, Mercedes-Benz can continue to clearly demonstrate its willingness to compete and win on the most important motor sports competition stage in the world.”

Mercedes have yet to comment on the driver line-up for their ‘new’ team. Rubens Barrichello has already left Brawn for Williams, while speculation continues that world champion Jenson Button could switch to McLaren to partner Lewis Hamilton.