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. Brawn & Fry just got a ginormous payday!

  2. hmm.. a Force India, an USF1 and a Malaysian Lotus.. now an all British Mclaren and an all German Mercedes.. wat nxt??

  3. rampante said on 16th November 2009, 14:35

    MP4 the stats you show pointing out a weakness in Mercedes engines shows to non Mclaren fans a weakness from Mclaren in not finding a reliable engine in 10 years, and no matter what colour you paint it it still goes at the same speed.Interesting times ahead.

  4. sumedh said on 16th November 2009, 14:37

    Great news. So Formula One is still attractive to few manufacturers. Ross Brawn himself said 2 days back, “Manufacturers will return to F1″. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/80116

    I assume Mclaren’s unwillingness to take Rosberg as Hamilton’s team-mate must have been the final straw in the partnership rocked recently by big controversies, spygate, liegate.

    Having one full German team and one full British team doesn’t make sense to me. This is not A1 GP. Now with Mercedez money, they should be able to match Jenson’s pay demands. Button and Rosberg should make a fine team.

    Mclaren can then snap up Kimi, Heikki, Nick, Kobayashi, whoever they want. Everyone stays happy.

    And yes, “Brawn GP” will go down as the most successful team in Formula 1 History. Winning 8 out of 17 races. One more for the stats page, Keith.

  5. It seems that the “Mercedes” may offer Rosberg more than Button to clear the way for an all German driver line-up. Button will go to McLaren with No 1 and his name in the record books with every chance of fair pay.
    Nobody will be throwing teddies out of the pram other than Pa Hamilton whose power would be broken. Good for Lewis, good for McLaren and the team members who must be fed up with Pa (and Norbert Haug).
    McLaren need the Constructors championship. Both drivers will drive their hardest, neither will play dirty. Mclaren never have favoured one driver. Strong team.
    We get strong pairings at Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull. Weaker pairings at Williams, Renault and Honda/Brawn/Mercedes but capable of upsets on the day.
    McLaren may develop their own engine in time by engineering skills rather than the Mercedes route of buying Ilmor.
    Great racing for 2010. Bare rims thereafter.

  6. what if modern f1 iwth out this guy….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_2dOAJd2dg&feature=related

    has everyone ofrgot this talent?

    • Patrickl said on 16th November 2009, 15:39

      Yeah, it’s sad how quickly people forget how great some of the drivers are. Put them in a poorly performing car for a few races and the drivers get completely trashed on.

      • three4three said on 16th November 2009, 16:23

        Agreed. I’m still confident that Kimi will be on the grid next year, hopefully alongside Lewis, and probably win Spa again too. He’s not finished with F1 just yet!

    • mp4-19b said on 16th November 2009, 17:43

      One of the best qualifying performance by Kimi. He was carrying twice the fuel of Alonso. Really marvelous.

      It would be a shame to see him retire.

      Just hope he comes back to where he belongs & make Ferrari regret each & every second.

    • Maciek said on 17th November 2009, 0:46

      All well good, I used to be a fan too, but if he’s still capable of performing at that level, how do you explain Massa driving better?

  7. Bartholomew said on 16th November 2009, 14:47

    I would have preferred Alonso to drive for Mercedes instead of the Spaghetti Special team.
    The new Mercedes team will do well. This is very exciting !!!

  8. Matthew said on 16th November 2009, 14:47

    Jense should stay with Ross. He’s far better than Rosberg, and given a winning car he will become a 2x WDC. On the other hand, going to McLaren will be the end of his glory career.

  9. mp4-19b said on 16th November 2009, 15:02

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/80172

    Merc renews McLaren’s engine deal until 2015.

    How can that happen if the mp4-12c, which is slated to hit the market somewhere in 2011 is a direct competition to the Mercedes super car?

    • According to the BBC News article on the subject the McLaren engine deal with Mercedes isn’t just a normal customer engine deal either

      the German company will continue to supply free engines and sponsorship to the team for at least the next six years.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8362295.stm

      • mp4-19b said on 16th November 2009, 15:22

        What are the chances of merc supplying “Second Class” engines to McLaren?

        I’d say very high.

        • Patrickl said on 16th November 2009, 15:48

          How would you define “second class” engines? The engines have to be homologated. There can be no deviations from the original engine spec can there?

          On the other hand, Red Bull were praising Renault and Total for their work in improving stability, reliability and fuel efficiency of their engine since Italy.

        • Maksutov said on 16th November 2009, 17:10

          What are the chances of merc supplying “Second Class” engines to McLaren?

          I’d say very high.

          lol … :), that would be something wouldn’t it.

          But that would Never happen. Look at Renault and Red bull. It would not be in best interest for Mercedes to do that in any way or form.

      • McPhil said on 16th November 2009, 17:30

        According to the article on Autosport, it is at a cost -

        Q: Will you continue to supply Mercedes engines next season to McLaren?

        DZ: Yes, we will and not only next season but we agreed that we will do that ultimately – of course, for a price – to 2015.

        So it looks like it is just a normal customer deal…

    • it is a statement from 2009, they’ve plenty of time (6 more yrs) to break it… this is F1 we’re talking about :) The caption from the movie ‘The Recruit’ suits F1 better, — “nothing is what it seems”.

    • Something tells me both Mercedes and McLaren will move every single copy of their supercars at pretty much whatever price they want. There are enough members of the Saudi royal family to go around.

    • Maciek said on 17th November 2009, 0:50

      It’s called non-competition. The people who can afford one of those cars, can well afford them both.

  10. mp4-19b said on 16th November 2009, 15:35

    If Mercedes are so particular about “Nationality” of their drivers, they should choose a pure blood German :P

    Not someone who has Finnish blood. Maybe they could tempt Scummy out of retirement, just like what Ron Dennis did to Niki Lauda ;)

    There is a high possibility of that happening, cuz its Mr R.Brawn who’s the team boss :P

    After all it was Mercedes who gave Scummy a break into motor sports & if I am not mistaken, he had a binding contract or something to return back to Mercedes at their demand.

    That never materialized cuz Scummy was apprehensive to partner Hakkinen in the same car. That’s all in the past.

    Steph posted something very interesting in the forums:

    Michael Schumacher will reportedly no longer be an advisor to Ferrari’s formula one team.

    The seven time world champion recently renewed his contract with the Italian marque through 2012, referring specifically to his input into the road cars department.

    Whether his ongoing role would involve F1 was not specifically mentioned in the September announcement, but Spain’s Diario AS reports that Schumacher will not be involved with the team.

    However, the newspaper added that Schumacher, to turn 41 in January, will continue to attend some grands prix, although not as many as before.

    Scummy for Mercedes :———>>>> Any Aye’s??

    • Patrickl said on 16th November 2009, 15:44

      They might wait for Vettel to become available. Give the kid a few more years at Red Bull to work out all the flaws. Then he should be good enough for a top team to really challenge for the WDC (assuming Brawn with Merc money will be able to stay a top team).

      • Ever thought about Vettel going for the WDC next season driving an RB car? Maybe he doesn’t give a toss about his high- profile competitors McLaren, Merc etc. I watched his performance in Abu Dhabi, impressing how mature and cool this guy already is for his young age!

    • Nay.

      To partner Hamilton? You must be joking. If so Schumacher’s contract would require Hamilton’s car to be fueled only with kerosene and for Nicole S. to be banned from jumping and clapping.

      • I think he meant Schumacher at Brawn Mercedes as part of an all German lineup.

        While I think Schumacher wouldn’t return to F1 with anyone other than Ferrari, it would be quite funny if he did return with Mercedes considering Ferrari are pushing for third cars just so they can run Schumacher.

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

        It’ll be a sad day if they ban Lewis’ girlfriend from jumping and clapping :)

    • Lol Thanks for mention mp4. Maybe Schuey is off to the FIA for a job ?

      • Maksutov said on 16th November 2009, 17:15

        Maybe Schuey is off to the FIA for a job ?

        In fact I was gonna say exactly that. It is more likely that schumy will play a role as an F1 Commissioner to FIA or something. Which would be worse for mp4 wouldn’t it lol :)

        BUT, on the other hand, if Schumy decides that he is seeking a drive, he will have no problems :)

  11. gazzap said on 16th November 2009, 15:40

    May have been covered in the comments, but would Brawn Mercedes become a German team? would they play the German national anthem after a win?

    • While I haven’t read it anywhere yet I can’t see why the German National Anthem wouldn’t play if Mercedes (Brawn)won as they own most of the team even if it will still be based in Britain.

      Afterall the Austrian National Anthem plays for Red Bull, although didn’t the organisers play the British National Anthem by mistake when Red Bull got their first win?

    • Maksutov said on 16th November 2009, 17:16

      would they play the German national anthem after a win?

      I would say “yes”.

  12. Haug has been signalling his threats for a while. He has been relentlessly running down Kovalainen in the press or ignoring him, and praising the Wonderful Partnership to the heavens. Lewis accomplished this, the team that…. Haug clearly has had orders from Stuttgart to put a deustchen Typ in that second car by hook or by crook. And so we have it; but they are making a mistake.

    McLaren have proven that they consistently are the second best operation in the sport and able to challenge for championships with reliable engines. Red Swill, the only other real racing team and likely contender, is not for sale. (And I’m sure Newey would again fly the coup before coming again under Mercedes’ thumb anyway.)

    If Mercedes thinks they can somehow create a team that will consistently beat McLaren and Ferrari by dumping cash on it, they are deluded. Obviously, they think their six-sigma black belts are better than Toyota’s and Honda’s and Renault’s. But corporations always think their culture is superior.

    What is Haug going to tell the board next year when McLaren is beating down the factory team and their golden-haired native sons?

  13. gazzap said on 16th November 2009, 15:59

    DMW, true but Mercedes will have Ross Brawn. The guy is a genius. I think it will make for another interesting year.

    • @gazzap: Agreed, but Ross Brawn can’t match the entire Mclaren talent. If I can, I would love to see what the BGP001 would have been if they had the opportunity only to spend as much money and time as the other teams had. I’m sure Ross Brawn would have managed a good car, but not this good to lead the pack!

  14. This is shaping up to be an intersting off season.

  15. How To Make Millions in 5 simple Steps- A true Story by Ross Brawn.

    1- Get Someone else to pay for your car’s development, if possible about €250 million.
    2- Hope that Someone pulls out of F1 and leave you with a car that has been in development for nearly 10 months.
    3- Convince the previous to ‘give’ you the car and the team. Better Still, convince them to pay for you to race the following year. anything above €50 million is welcome.
    4- Use that opportunity to win both championships.
    5- Sell 75.1% of the team that cost you nothing for millions to a car manufacturer.

    • Maksutov said on 16th November 2009, 17:19

      do it then.

    • @Luiz you Missed one point in the list.
      - Build a brilliant race winning car and win both the championships with 2 average drivers and no sponsors.

      Do you think Mercedes or anybody would have come forward to buy them if they have not shown the stellar performance of this year.

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