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.
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