Mercedes Grand Prix take over Brawn for 2010 – but what about Jenson Button?

Mercedes' illustration of its likely 2010 F1 car livery

Mercedes' illustration of its likely 2010 F1 car livery

Mercedes has announced it is taking over Brawn GP and rebranding it Mercedes Grand Prix for 2010.

But it remains to be seen whether they will keep world champion Jenson Button in the team.

They are expected to bring in Nico Rosberg and may partner him with a second German driver – possibly Nick Heidfeld.

Button is tipped to move to McLaren – who he visited on Friday – to join Lewis Hamilton in an all-British line-up.

Mercedes will take a 75% share in Brawn. In May I wrote how appealing the idea of a Brawn deal was for Mercedes. Two months ago reports emerged that a deal was on the cards for 2011. That now seems to have been brought forward.

The deal, which sees Mercedes shifting their stake from McLaren to Brawn, should guarantee the future of the team which was sold by Honda almost 12 months ago.

McLaren and Mercedes worked closely together on and off the track after Mercedes became an engine supplier to the F1 team in 1995. The two developed the Mercedes SLR McLaren which was built at the McLaren Technology Centre.

But now Mercedes has used in-house tuners AMG to build its replacement – the SLS – and McLaren has developed a supercar of its own – the MP4-12C.

Expect the 2010 Mercedes F1 car to take on the silver colouring that’s been associated with McLaren since 1997 (see illustration above). It will be the first time Mercedes has run its own F1 team since 1955 when it had a British driver in its line-up – Stirling Moss.

McLaren could return to their historic orange colour scheme. Mercedes’ press release, reproduced in full below, says:

The change to the form of co-operation 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.

Is this the sad loss of a giant-killing independent team, or a welcome vote of confidence from a major manufacturer? And how would Hamilton and Button fare as team mates? Have your say in the comments.

Mercedes take over Brawn

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318 comments on Mercedes Grand Prix take over Brawn for 2010 – but what about Jenson Button?

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  1. Cristian said on 16th November 2009, 12:17

    I think it might be the end of the winning ways for Ross if he is not let to do his job right.
    A with regard to Lewis and Jenson I think that Jenson will be #2 from every point of view.

    • Ned Flanders said on 16th November 2009, 13:53

      Button has a difficult decision to make now. He can either go to Mclaren and play second fiddle to Hamilton, or to Mercedes, who I could envisage favouring Rosberg.

      Button would get destroyed by Hamilton, simple as that, but I don’t rate Rosberg all that highly so perhaps Mercedes would be the better option

      • three4three said on 16th November 2009, 15:47

        But at least at McLaren Button would be getting paid a lot more, so for him it’s the best of a bad situation. And straight after winning the WDC too!

      • sato113 said on 16th November 2009, 16:29

        i don’t think they’d favour Rosberg at mercedes if button stayed. it’s the same brawn gp team from this year with the same staff. they love jenson!
        ok there may be a few staff from germany wandering around…

      • Sideshow Bob said on 16th November 2009, 17:36

        Seriously, it’s time for Raikkonen to hook up with the new Benz team now.

        • Yeah I agree,now he can get his Huge Wage and(possibly) a proper winning car.

          • Phil T said on 16th November 2009, 18:41

            Eh ? If they are not prepared to pay Button the relative pittance he asked for they are not going to come anywhere near Raikkonens wage demands are they ?!

          • Sideshow Bob said on 16th November 2009, 18:44

            I’d put a good chance on Brawn/MB having a fast car next year – they started developing the 2010 car way back in summer, at least as early as Ferrari and probably way, way before Red Bull. If Mercedes is serious about competing with the big boys they’re going to need more than a Rosberg/Heidfeld combo.

      • Mercedes are going to be expected to do well next season because they are following on from what work has already been done by the Brawn team, and since they are a larger more financially sound team then they will have more money to invest into RnD into the car. Whilst McLaren who have told us that they have been doing alot of work on the 2010 car which is already quicker than the 2009 car at Bahrain. So personally Mercedes having an all German line up and McLaren having a all British line up would cause a very good season, two very good teams with fast cars and fast drivers throw in some Ferraris, and no refueling then I’m buzzing already with excitement.

      • If button joins Merc then this would be going against of what he said that he would want to go with a car that would give him the best chance of another shot at world champion then is it not the best idea for him to stray away from merc because he will have more chance with mclaren.

      • Harv's said on 16th November 2009, 22:09

        how ever if button went to mclaren he would have the number 1 on his car and lewis would have the number 2, i think we all remember what lewis did to his last team mate who had number 1

    • A Button move to McLaren would put him at car number 1 and Hamilton as 2 – who would have imagined that a year ago!?

      • Antiriad said on 17th November 2009, 7:06

        The problem Jenson now faces is similar to Jacques before him: a change of regime within the team which could see him out of favour.

        Jacques was the golden boy of his manager and BAR team boss Craig Pollock. When he departed, Jenson became the golden boy of the new Dave Richards/Nick Fry management team and Villeneuve was shown the door soon after. And so with Brawn/Mercedes in control now, it does not dictate that Button will remain in that position either.

        I would imagine that Brawn/Merecedes are looking at Vettel in the long term (and/or Hulkenberg if he impresses) as neither will have been impressed with Button’s protracted wrap up to the title this year.

        Mercedes will want a high quality German having failed to get Schumacher into a McLaren back in the day, whilst Brawn liked working with Michael at Ferrari and would like a driver of similar calibre.

        If Jenson’s ego can accept being a #2 to Hamilton at McLaren then it could be a mutually beneficial long-term partnership. McLaren were happy with driver stability in the form of Hakkinen and Coulthard after all. The latter being fast enough to keep the former on his toes, but not enough of a threat to disturb him.

        • Praveen Titus said on 17th November 2009, 13:24

          Great judgement. I believe (though I could be wrong) that Button is by no means a “World Champion calibre driver”. It’s the new rules and the early superiority of the Brawn machinery that gave Button the championship. Vettel certainly makes sense in the long term as does Hulkenberg (depending on his performance). But Heidfeld, no. Maybe he can stay on till Vettel is freed from his current Red Bull contract. But I thought Mercedes would be interested in securing the services of the Iceman, Kimi Raikkonen.

  2. simonrs said on 16th November 2009, 12:19

    It says in the Mclaren statement that they will keep their livery – wonder what Brawn’s will be then to avoid a clash?

    • Chalky said on 16th November 2009, 13:15

      ….and I just got excited about them going back to orange. :(

      • Yes, but having reflective (or even white) livery at hot, sunny races must present a small, but probably still significant, heat benefit.

    • They may not bother? Remember last seasons Force India, which if it wasnt for the blatent lack of pace, was easily confused with the Mclaren.

  3. Prisoner Monkeys said on 16th November 2009, 12:20

    Nick Heidfeld as second driver.

    Wow, could Mercedes have screwed up the driver choice any more? They’re going to SUCK.

    You’d think they’d do everything in their power to get the incumbent World Champion.

    • TommyB said on 16th November 2009, 12:35

      I’d put Heidfeld in. I think he’s as good as Button

      • If not better

        • Ned Flanders said on 16th November 2009, 13:56

          This is crazy- Heidfeld has just gone from the most underrated driver in F1 to the most overrated! I think he’s a good driver, and he deserves a big chance for a change, but he isn’t quite top drawer material

          • Spot on.

            I don’t see him making the top step very often.

            However….let’s just zoom back twelve months and pretend this debate is taking place in November 2008….. Jenson Button for 2009
            WDC….. in your dreams mate…… !

          • luigismen said on 16th November 2009, 17:46

            They don’t need a top driver in Heidfeld… they need a second driver with experience for Nico, he will be No. 1 at Merc

      • Icthyes said on 16th November 2009, 12:56

        Seconded. He’d be a better partner for Hamilton as well.

      • Prisoner Monkeys said on 16th November 2009, 12:56

        Hmmm, Jenson Button, 2009 World Champion with seven victories to his name.

        Nick Heidfeld, he German guy no-one can remember with no race wins and no championships.

        Really, Meredes should do everything in their power to keep Button. Even if they only want him because he’ll have the number one on the car. Because without them, they’ll be doomed to carry the 25 and 26 …

        • TommyB said on 16th November 2009, 13:03

          If Heidfeld was in the Brawn he’d have 7 wins to his name.

          Heidfeld beat Massa, Kimi, Webber, Kubica and has never been in a top team

          • Paul Owen said on 16th November 2009, 15:17

            I think you are all Crazy people (in the nicest possible way).

            With respect where was NH last year when RK was fighting for the championship throughout the season? Grumpy, inconsistent and over rated IMHO.

            I do think that is dreadful the way Brawn and Mercedez have treated JB. He gave up a lot for that team and now it seems he’s to be dismissed out of hand.

            Personally I would LOVE to see JB and LH at McLaren next year. Sure if it came down to the numbers LH would have a team preference but until then they would be allowed to fight for the championships. I think technically you couldn’t ask for more. One driving style is all gung ho aggression and the other fluid and smooth. McLaren could clean up because of the two differing styles.

          • While I wouldn’t rank Heidfeld in the top tier of current F1 drivers, I don’t think he is a bad driver. Before this season I would probably have ranked him in the same group as Button, Webber, Rosberg and some others.

            I understand why some may rate Kubica higher than Heidfeld because of where they are at in their careers so the argument would be Kubica has more potential, but even so he hasn’t blown Heidfeld away while they were teamates, if Heidfeld hadn’t let Kubica through in Canada Heidfeld would have probably won the race, and a lot of Heidfelds problems last year were issues he had with qualifying, his race pace was good, sort of like Button in the latter half of this season.

          • Wesley said on 16th November 2009, 21:30

            You said it Tommy!I can’t understand how so many people overlook Heidfeld’s talent.He “for sure” could bring in the steady points if not win.

        • I think if Mercedes didn’t have Button next they would have the numbers 3 & 4 as reigning Constructors Champions as Renault did in 2007 after Alonso left, still I agree that you would have thought Mercedes would prefer the number 1 on their car.

          • If they lost Button, I don’t think they would be 2nd in pitlane, as when teams are taken over (like Brawn with Honda), they are sent down the pitlane.

          • I think it depends on how the takeover is classed, for example when BAR became Honda in 2006 they had the numbers 11 & 12.
            When Stewart became Jaguar in 2000 Jaguar had the numbers 7 & 8, and then when Jaguar became Red Bull in 2005 they had the numbers 14 & 15.

            I think when Honda left last year they had said they were withdrawing, so Brawn were effectively a new team although I think some concessions may have been made such as allowing them the TV money Honda would have received.

            If Sauber are allowed to race next year this is probably what will happen to them as they had to reapply and so will probably be classed as a new team, whereas Brawn will still own part of the Mercedes team next season.

          • Xanathos said on 16th November 2009, 14:20

            Brawn was sent down the pitlane because their entry got accepted as a “new team”. They had to do this because a team is only allowed to change its name every five years, and BAR became Honda in 2006, only three years before.
            However, I don’t know if a new team may change their name earlier (see Stewart -> Jaguar) or if they only introduced this rule during this decade.

            But if they will be sent down the pitlane and the teams continue their renaming/selling game over the winter, the new teams will get lower and lower numbers…I think USF1 (as the first accepted new entry) will already get 18&19….

          • luigismen said on 16th November 2009, 17:51

            I dont think that’s true, about the name change… see Jordan, Spyker, Midland and Force India, all that in about 4 or 5 years

        • Sorry to be picky but wouldn’t it be
          26 & 27??

        • A year ago it would have been, hmm, Jenson Button, a British guy no one can remember with one sole win to his name.

          I think Heidfeld is better than Button, okay Button may be a world champion now, but who knows what might have happened if he did join for this year when he had an offer..

          Also in another post you said why hasn’t he ended up in a top car after 10 years? Well Button wasn’t picked up by a top team, Honda were one of the worst teams last year and no top team picked him up. He was fortunate that this years car was amazing.

    • Heidfeld has beaten Massa, Raikkonen, Webber and Kubica when they were his team mates. Heidfeld is a top quality driver and has deserved a race winning car for years.

      I think Rosberg and Heidfeld will be a good line up, with Heidfeld to outscore Rosberg.

      • Prisoner Monkeys said on 16th November 2009, 13:05

        Massa: consistent challenger for title in 2007 and 2008.

        Raikkonen: won plenty of races for McLaren, 2007 World Champion.

        Webber: quarterbacking Red Bull’s efforts.

        Kubica: … Okay, I’ll give you that one. But Kubica broke his duck well before Heidfeld.

        Heidfeld is nowhere. Drivers don’t get good cars because they’ve been in the sport for a long time. They get good cars because they’ve shown themselves as talented drivers. If Heidfeld was half as good as you made him out to be, he’d have been taken on to McLaren or Ferrari or even the 1005/6 Renaults a long time ago. It’s pretty telling that he isn’t anywhere. Plus, there’s nothing he can offer Mercedes that Button can’t bettr.

        • “But Kubica broke his duck well before Heidfeld.”

          Anyone who remembers anything about that race in Canada will know that Kubica only won because Heidfeld let him past for a team 1-2. If Heidfeld had kept Kubica behind as he had done to Alonso he would have won the Grand Prix.

          “Drivers don’t get good cars because they’ve been in the sport for a long time.”

          No they get them because they’ve shown they deserve them, Heidfeld has clearly done that by beating every team mate he has come up against, including the highly (over)rated Kubica. People have underestimated Heidfeld for far too long and it would be poetic justice if he got a race winning car in a Mercedes team whilst Renault produce another dog for Kubica.

          • Prisoner Monkeys said on 16th November 2009, 13:26

            Then why hasn’t he ended up in a good car in ten years? And what does he bring that Jenson Button can’t offer?

            I admit, it would be delightfully ironic if both Button and Heidfeld ended up in Mercedes …

        • Penelope Pitstop said on 16th November 2009, 13:26

          Agreed, PM. Heidfeld is getting too much credit. Being around for a long time doesn’t warrant a drive with a top team (I know we’d all like to forget Luca Badoer, but as the cliche goes, those who do not remember history…). They’re mad to let Button get away in the first place, but if an all-German lineup is their aim, Glock would’ve been the better choice, I think. He’s got qualifying issues, but he’s one hell of a fighter, and he may not have any wins, but unlike BMW, no other driver ever got a win out of a Toyota, either.

          • NomadIndian said on 16th November 2009, 14:10

            Who could honestly say that Button is better than Heidfield before this season.

            All it takes is one good season with a good car to change your reputation.

          • Patrickl said on 16th November 2009, 15:11

            Indeed, look at Massa. The guy had one reasonable season where he narrowly missed the WDC in teh fastest car. Now all of a sudden he’s supposed to be a top driver.

            Heidfeld has always been a good driver, but has the bad fortune of not being the best. Just like Button and Kubica I guess. They normally don’t get top material, but just below that. Obviously Button got lucky and he could show that he at least is a very good driver. Still not the top, but at least significantly better than Vettel, Barrichello and Webber.

        • I’m late for the debate:P
          Heidfeld definately underrated mainly because of his personality I feel. He may be a crazy dancer but he is quite quiet and so is often overlooked.
          He has beaten many rated drivers as teammates (I don’t read to much into Massa and Kimi as they were relatively new to f1 but the fact is he has beaten Kubica which says a lot) and has had some nice ontrack battles. He deserves the drive in my opinion

        • Ross Brawn tried to sign Heidfeld for this year but Heidfeld turned him down so they stuck with Barrichello

      • John H said on 16th November 2009, 13:36

        Won’t Mercedes have 22&23 or something similar as ‘Brawn’ are the constructors champions and not ‘Mercedes GP?’

    • Nitpicker said on 16th November 2009, 13:36

      I think you guys are missing the point. Surely Jenson was waiting for this announcement so that he can cash-in big on a massive Mercedes salary?

      • Yer thats what i thought as well, thats why I was talking of Heidfeld going to ‘a mercedes team.’ Although apparently Mercedes GP aren’t interested in Button and would rather have the German super team of Heidfeld and Rosberg.

  4. The webpage title says: “Jenson Button out of Brawn | Mercedes buy team”
    The title of this post says: “Mercedes Grand Prix take over Brawn for 2010 – but what about Jenson Button?”
    The text of the post says: “But it remains to be seen whether they will keep world champion Jenson Button in the team.”

    Only 2 of the 3 are well-aligned.

    Fascinating stuff.

  5. PottedShrew said on 16th November 2009, 12:26

    Very interesting developments…however under no circumstances will the colour scheme be Orange…I would imagine Vodafone would have a small problem with that!!:-)

  6. Watch Roseberg go, he’s v.fast & must now shine if he gets even a decent package.

    Great news for McLaren, bring it on Lewis & the other guy!! Go Woking..

    • Achilles said on 16th November 2009, 12:59

      Gmac, It would appear that Rosberg wasted his chances with the Williams car, which was very good, The brawn car had little development in the second half of the season, and it was by no means the class of the field, Brawn will not get a golden opportunity twice with some clever loophole, so it will be down to Rosberg to shine. it would appear that the team bosses are not that impressed with Button, it is beginning to look like the way Hill, and Mansell before him, were treated after they became champions.

      • Nitpicker said on 16th November 2009, 13:54

        I’ve never heard such guff. Brawn & Co are not impressed with Button?! Williams had a very good car?!

        For your information, Williams had planned to replace Damon Hill before he became champion, not t’other way round.

        Furthermore, Brawn’s team will continue to impress. They have a great team and that doesn’t change no matter what the rules say. Understandably they might not have such a huge advantage at the beginning of 2010, but that doesn’t mean they will wither to Honda 2008-esque performances either.

        • Achilles said on 16th November 2009, 17:47

          Oh sorry Nitpicker, Just my opinion, It’s no longer Brawns team, they may impress with the kind of support that Mercedes can bring, but it will be the ‘Mercedes’ team. Hey I thought Williams had a good car, Rosberg had some great quali laps, and race laps, he made some errors which cost him some great finishes, so did the team. We only know what the media tell us, and what ghost writers put in print, replacing Hill may well have been on the cards prior to his championship, but I would’nt call it a fact. Williams was noted for his contempt toward his drivers, Mansell certainly found out very publicly, so as I am being fed all this media about Button, and his lack of contract, with anyone, rightly or wrongly I think he is either too dear, or that there are better options for team bosses, I know this ‘guff’ to be true,’cos the media say so…..lol.

  7. So will both the McLaren and MercedesGP cars be silver?

    • McLaren: Silver and rocket red/McLaren orange,

      Brawn: Silver and lime green/yellow?

    • Ned Flanders said on 16th November 2009, 13:41

      I could see the Mclaren’s being all Vodafone red now, though I like their current livery. And I think it’s safe to say that Mercedes will be all silver/ grey, I think the green will be consigned to the dustbin (where it belongs!)

      • Ned Flanders said on 16th November 2009, 13:48

        Actually forget that, I just read this on autosport.com:

        McLaren will also continue to run in the silver and red colours that have been a hallmark of its tie-up with both Mercedes-Benz and title sponsor Vodafone.

      • I am glad McLaren are keeping their current livery as it is one of my favourites, but if McLaren were to change their livery don’t you think an all red Vodafone car would be too similar to Ferrari’s livery for McLaren, and obviously an Orange car wouldn’t work while Vodafone was title sponsor.

        • Ned Flanders said on 16th November 2009, 15:12

          Good point, but if Mclarens were ever red it would probably be more of a day- glo, orangey red than Ferraris scarlet.

          I can’t wait for the launches, there should be so many new liveries

        • John Edwards said on 16th November 2009, 21:43

          Yep, i dont think they’ll change, the reason i say that is that Autosport is a crap source and I would not trust them with anything after some of the balls ups they’ve had over the last 5 years.

          That aside, if they wanted to go to Orange I’m sure they could but how it would work with the Vodafone sponsorship is hard to imagine.

  8. People will moan about losing a British team but the fact is that Brawn GP could not survive as an independent. They only did so well in 2009 because of the Honda money and resources and they would soon slip down the grid if they stayed fully independent.

    I still think Button will stay with them and will be joined by Rosberg.

  9. Shagrathian said on 16th November 2009, 12:30

    McLaren F1 TEAM! Cool indeed. Paint the car rocket red please! Also, Lewis & Jenson pair would be great!

  10. TommyB said on 16th November 2009, 12:32

    “but what about Jenson Button?”

    You sound like Legard Keith! :-P

    • Haggis Hunter said on 16th November 2009, 12:52

      i think that the jensen/lewis situation would not be good for button as lewis is the golden boy. i also think alonso will win next year – best driver, best car

      • At the moment it doesn’t look like Ferrari will have the best car … considering they will be developments of the season just passed.

        If anything McLaren look promising, they will still be running the Mercedes engine too.

        • Hallard said on 17th November 2009, 17:02

          Actually Ferrari has had to fundamentally redesign the car, starting from scratch, because the F60 was such a dog. But that isnt to say it will be good.

    • iBlaze said on 16th November 2009, 12:55

      LOL! – “So it’s Mercedes from Brawn from Honda and Button’s got the championship at the minute, but will it be enough?” :D

  11. Intriguing stuff. I’d love to see McLaren go back to the red and white livery like the old Malboro days :)

    • Nah Red White and Blue Union Jack styleeee and whoop the Silver Arrows butts :)….. or thinking about it all Red then the RED Arrows could whoop the Silver Arrows butts !!

    • luigismen said on 16th November 2009, 20:18

      I would prefer the orange livery, like the test car they had… cool livery

  12. TommyB said on 16th November 2009, 12:34

    I hope Mclaren go Red and White – classic livery.

    I really hope Heidfeld gets a top drive, he deserves it. He hasn’t even won a race and he’s beaten Massa, Webber, Kimi and Kubica

  13. I’m just worried about Kimi. It doesn’t look too good at the moment. It would be great to have him at Mercedes GP with Nico.

  14. Jonathan102 said on 16th November 2009, 12:35

    As a Button fan I would like to see Button to stay at Brawn/Merc GP. Because McLaren is Hamilton’s team, and Button will without a doubt be Hamilton’s #2. This would not end well.

    • TommyB said on 16th November 2009, 12:37

      Button would be silly to go to a team that is built around 1 driver… but what other choice does he have?

      • How is McLaren “built around 1 driver”? It sure wasn’t built around Alonso in 2007, or around Häkkinen during his tenure there, or around Prost when Senna arrived. If Button would join McLaren for 2010, and he would be able to beat Hamilton, I bet the team would let him. And rightly so.

        • Dougie said on 16th November 2009, 13:07

          Exactly, if McLaren develop the car somewhere between the 2 styles, so that Jenson can dial out any oversteer tendancies to have the neutral handling car he seems to prefer, and Lewis can dial in oversteer as he suits, then we should see a formidible combination and a fair fight to the flag.

          Who do I think would win, I’d love to say Button, but I don’t know to be honest. I do think however it would be very close, closer than a lot of people think.

        • James_mc said on 16th November 2009, 19:02

          History shows that McLaren have always favoured one driver – Prost>Lauda Senna>Prost Hakkinen>Coulthard, Hamilton>Kovalianen. [Although it could be argued that that was the "Ron" influence]

          Hamilton has been at the team for the best part of a decade, he knows the staff and they know him. Quite simply, Button should have shelved his wage demands, been grateful that he landed in a great car and now he’d have a guaranteed seat at a well-backed team with highly competent staff.

    • Patrickl said on 16th November 2009, 15:13

      Mercedes will be built around Rosberg. Button is going to be #2 wherever he goes.

  15. sato113 said on 16th November 2009, 12:37

    good for brawn. their car will still be competitive. however, i DON’T want to see Button and Hamilton in the same team. anyway, will be interesting to see who comes out on top… i’d bet on Hamilton.

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