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

Press release

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

  1. I would have preferred for Brawn to have more of a chance to make a name for itself. Instead of being swallowed up by a huge name. (irrespective of the success Mercedes has had)

    On the other hand it sounds interesting to see how Mclaren re-establishes itself as a true independent, assuming of course that they intend to do so.

    • Nitpicker said on 16th November 2009, 14:00

      Yes I was hoping we’d see another battle of the independents in 2010.

      Odd to think that McLaren has been known as the ‘factory Mercedes team’ for 14 years now, and soon they will become an independent team again.

  2. TommyB said on 16th November 2009, 12:39

    Strange things…

    Honda has become Mercedes in 2 years – wouldn’t have predicted that one!

    Brawn came into F1, won the world championship and have left :-P

  3. Ferrero said on 16th November 2009, 12:42

    So with Mercedes finally entering the sport as an actual constructor, what are the chances of BMW buying back in to compete? I would have to say quite high, given the rivalry between the two brands…

    • Maksutov said on 16th November 2009, 16:32

      I would have to say quite high

      I would also say high too, as soon as they sort out some of their financial issues they will be back, could take a 2-5years though..

  4. basically, here are these two teams, with good prospects for next year, and there are of course a bunch of drivers that are linked with both teams, 3 out of 4 seats still to be filled.
    Heidfeld, Rosberg, Räikkönen, Button – linked with both Brawn and McLaren, but one of them has to pick another team, as Hamilton occupies his place. i’m just eagerly waiting what’s gonna happen.

  5. Mussolini's Pet Cat said on 16th November 2009, 12:51

    Awful news.

  6. hartry said on 16th November 2009, 12:54

    I presume mercedes gp will still be based at the Brackley factory, which is only 5 miles from me?

  7. It’s a bit of a shame that Brawn won’t defend their title although it’s kinda cool to have a “works” Mercedes team.

  8. Now, statistically wise, is Mercedes a new team and Brawn has become a “former team”? This would mean that Mercedes stats and numbers would be reseted to zero and Brawn would be frozen in history. Or will they keep their numbers from the 1950′?

    Or is it just a rebranding and the Mercedes GP will keep the stats and numbers of Brawn GP? If so, will Mercedes run the number 3 and 4 cars if they don’t sign Button?

    I know it is statistic ********, but I like this stuff :P

  9. Icthyes said on 16th November 2009, 12:58

    I welcome this news and find it quite exciting. A works Mercedes team, adding a manufacturer back into the mix after Toyota pulled out, a manufacturer-friendly but ever-more independent McLaren becoming the British Ferrari, and best of all, the Maccas will stay silver!

    The silver Brawn looks pretty awesome too.

  10. Thandi said on 16th November 2009, 13:03

    Mercedes GP, wow! can’t wait to see how they gonna do next year
    I hope they put Kimi in the car, if not Nico

    exciting stuff

    • sato113 said on 17th November 2009, 2:56

      i wish they’d just call it Mercedes. not ‘Mercedes F1 Team’ or ‘Mercedes GP’. we dont hear ‘Ferrari GP’!

  11. Ulfuls said on 16th November 2009, 13:06

    Although I congenitally loathe McLaren, it would be interesting to see Lewis and Jenson as teammates. The general consensus seems to be that Lewis would be eating Jenson’s lunch on every occasion, but I’m not so sure — I can see it being more of a Prost-Senna arrangement, with Lewis winning with raw pace, and Jenson taking wins with race-craft and points consistency.

    When was the last all-British team (two drivers and team) by the way? Racking my brain but can’t come up with it.

    But as many have said, I can’t think that anyone would want to step into Lewis’s team and hope to race on equal terms. For all Martin Whitmarsh’s twaddle about their drivers always being treated absolutely equally, it seems inconceivable that they haven’t promised the golden boy that they have been cultivating for the past decade that when it comes down to it, he will always have first access to development parts etc. Can’t imagine Jenson would feel comfortable in that situation. Then again, if Mercedes is preferencing Rosberg and shutting him out for not being German enough, he’s unlikely to feel very comfortable there either. Tough situation.

    Jenson and Rubens, Williams 2011! There’s the solution!

    • For one race in 2005 BAR had Button and Davidson as their drivers.

      As far as a whole season goes, I guess it would be Irvine and Herbert at Jaguar in 2000.

    • Nitpicker said on 16th November 2009, 22:41

      When was the last all-British team (two drivers and team) by the way?

      Didn’t Damon Hill and Nigel Mansell race together at Williams for a few races at the end of the 1994 season? Coulthard stepped in after Senna was killed but was pushed aside after Mansell had won his Indycar championship and fancied some proper racing.

  12. Keith, on a statistics’ note: does this news mean that the new ‘Mercedes Grand Prix’ team will have run as many as 12 Grands Prix, resulting in 8 pole positions, 9 fastest laps, 9 race wins, 139.14 WDC points, and as many as 0 (zero) WCC points?

  13. GeeMac said on 16th November 2009, 13:11

    I’m a bit saddened by this news. Ross Brawn and Nick Fry rescued their team from the ashes of Honda, turned them into World Champions, and then sold out to a big manufacturer. I’m so sad that Brawn are gone, they had a real “stick it to the big guys” attitude. Now they are going to be the big guys!

    Also, if Jenson doesn’t sign for Mercedes GP and goes to McLaren, they won’t be able to run number 1 and 2. It’s quite a superficial thing, but it would have been nice to see the team that dominated the 2009 championship run with 1 and 2 in 2010. Also, Lewis, who would be the de facto number 1 in the team (regardless of what Martin Whitmarsh and the contracts say) would run in car number 2.

    Also, if McLaren have Jenson and Lewis as their line-up for 2010, and Mercedes GP have Nico Rosberg and Nick Heidfeld, it won’t be long before the press turn the whole thing into an Anglo-German war!

    • mp4-19b said on 16th November 2009, 14:05

      Also, if McLaren have Jenson and Lewis as their line-up for 2010, and Mercedes GP have Nico Rosberg and Nick Heidfeld, it won’t be long before the press turn the whole thing into an Anglo-German war!

      Yeah! you are correct. We have daily mirror, guardian & the rest of the rubbish. They have BILD and the others :P

      • It’s a bit odd. Mercedes want the German drivers to represent them but are really an internation company recognised around the world for road cars.
        Mclaren privateer and very British so a British line up makes sense in that way. However, Mclaren also need to expand and get money from other outlets and sponsors and a British line up will just isolate them I feel. Not only that but a Kimi Lewis pairing would be much stronger in my view.

    • Steely Man said on 16th November 2009, 14:23

      Will some of you people calm down! Brawn arn’t going anywhere just because Merc have bought a majority stake; the rosy independent constructor idea may have gone but the team have not. Have people forgotten that this year Brawn were still Honda, albeit sans a few hundred personnel.

      • Financially speaking, Brawn may have survived for maybe next year or 2011 if it stayed as a privateer, but over the long run, they need the resources only a manufacturer can bring.

        Remember that even when it looked like they were running away with the championships earlier this year, they still had difficulty getting sponsors on board. Even some of the sponsors (e.g. Canon) were one-race deals, and Branson has changed his allegiance to Manor since…

    • Nitpicker said on 16th November 2009, 22:46

      it would have been nice to see the team that dominated the 2009 championship run with 1 and 2 in 2010

      They did great to win both world championships this year, but I would hardly say they ‘dominated’ by winning the drivers’ by 11 points and the constructors’ by 18.5 points.

      McLaren in 1988: that was domination. So to speak.

  14. So after one season and winning both Championships the team name Brawn will disappear after only year in F1.

    I would have preferred it if to start with at least the deal with Brawn was the same as the one with McLaren so we would have McLaren Mercedes and Brawn Mercedes, but I suppose from a business point of view it wouldn’t make much sense for Mercedes to own minority stakes in two teams.

    If Mercedes relationship with Brawn is more to how it was with McLaren, supplying money and resources but letting Brawn run the show I see no reason why they can’t continue to be competitive, but if Mercedes try to interfere too much it could be a mistake.

    I am glad McLaren are due to keep their Silver/Red livery as it is one of my favourites, if they had decided to ditch it then the colour would probably be largely dependent on sponsors so having an orange car with Vodafone as your title sponsor would never happen.

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