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. Mike "the bike" Schumacher said on 16th November 2009, 23:24

    Very very sad to see Brawn leave but delighted to see Mercedes come back hopefully this will mean a three way rivalry for championships in the future. I think it will ensure the teams spot at the front of the grid for years to come, and Mclaren back to orange would be brilliant.

    Does this mean for percentage wins and championships Brawn are the most successful team ever?

  2. gpcampbell said on 17th November 2009, 0:22

    Why has everyone decided that Jenson is rubbish??

    Sure his qualifying could use some work, but hes shown he can boss races from the front and also fight his way forward in a catagory that is notoriously difficult to overtake in??

    Lewis and Jenson batteling on the track could be awsome. I dont think its would be the white wash that everyone thinks. Also i think Mr Alonso in a galloping horse may have some words to say too.

  3. McLaren signing Button may well be simply thumbing their nose at Mercedes. But, I’d like to think McLaren is smart enough to insure they get true value for their dollars. With refueling banned for 2010, Button’s smooth and fluid driving style could net McLaren some wins, where Hamilton’s raw speed doesn’t turn the trick. And I think McLaren is smart enough to give Button a car good enough to do just that.

    Just waiting now for Mercedes to confirm Quick Nick for the other seat, and I can hear the Beeb broadcast opening….”Welcome to the 2010 Anglo-Teuton Conflict” … LOL

    Now, on a more personal note—Mercedes back in Formula 1 :) I don’t care who they give the second seat to, the car has a Mercedes badge on it, and that’s fine with me. Now, if only we could figure out a way to get Maserati interested again. Or Jaguar. Or Aston-Martin maybe? Maybe Sir Frank might go that way, (with no Toyota), and the Anglo teams could gang up on the Germans, LOL. I know, fantasy. But a nice one. :)

  4. Paul H said on 17th November 2009, 0:27

    I think this is as much about marketing as it is about F1 racing. I wonder how much Vodafone also had in the decision making, and that on Friday at McLaren’s over tea and biscuits, McLaren must have dangled the right sized carrot for Jensen.

  5. marcus said on 17th November 2009, 0:29

    I think Nico Rosberg has what it takes to tango with the big boys with a decent car.

    I think it’s abit sad if Jenson did go to mclaren, because he would have to play second fiddle to Hamilton for the rest of his Mclaren career even with having the number 1 on his car for 2010 atleast. Mclaren will have to be very careful if they hired Button and made him the number 2 driver if he didnt already know that would happen. it would ruin Mclaren big time and probably stop any other decent drivers going into that team. Why would any half decent driver go to a team to just be Hamiltons test boy.

    Button would not roll over for Hamilton, Kimi i dont think he cares “stereotype” i know. Heidfeild could work out or maybe get another “British or other” rookie in? Hamilton’s top dog in there so i think Kimi would be an expensive 2nd driver but a good kick up the ass if Lewis needs it, and it will help alot for Mclaren to win the constructors title for the first time since 1998.

    Roll on next few days/weeks i say to see what happens.

  6. I must also say that it is strange and refreshing that Briatore apparently has no role in these discussions. His normal procedure of churning his various indentured drivers annually among teams to up his personal cut of contracts has been put to an end.

    And this raises an interesting point, albeit off-topic for this thread.

    As far as I know, Mark Webber has not yet fired Briatore. According to the terms of the WMSC decision, any venue, promoter, or anone wishing FiA sanction …including drivers…may not have anything to do with Briatore.

    Soooooo……if Webber doesn’t fire him, Webber may not have a superlicense for 2010 and RBR may need to find someone for that seat. I vote for Kobyashi, if Webber stands his ground and gets punyed.

    • Lordy, my fingers have forgotten how to type. Please forgive the typos. And that last word should read “punted”.

  7. wasiF1 said on 17th November 2009, 1:50

    I have mixed feelings.I am happy that a manufacture has returned to F1 & if in the near future Mclaren build their own engine we may have two.But a couple of years from now on we will say “Once upon a time there was a F1 team named Brawn GP who didn’t even knew whether they will be on the grid a month before the start of the season has won both the driver’s & constructor’s championship”.We will miss the name.& the last & most important thing is that we saw over the last 12 months big car companies like Honda,Toyota,BWM & even may be Renault pulling out because of the global economics,will there be a time when Mercedes think about it.& now the drivers,if Button move to Mclaren then I think he needs to play the team number 2 or accept a pay cut in Mercedes,but I think Mercedes will try with Roseberg & Glock & in the near future Vettel.

    Anyways all the best MERCEDES

  8. Terry Fabulous said on 17th November 2009, 2:07

    Isn’t it ironic that the great Independant team Tyrell, has turned out to be the great Manufacturer team Mercedes-Benz!

  9. Net Sticks said on 17th November 2009, 5:26

    I like the car – I hope it will remain like that. About the politics, I’m ok and I guess they are too, with a Lewis/Button line-up at McLaren and I believe that McLaren has it all planed so when Mercedes leaves, they can be a totally independent team, of course with a lot of money from big sponsors.

    About the Mercedes line-up, well, I still can’t see Niko Rosberg as a title challenger and about Nick Heidfeld, I think he should retire and it would be one less german on the Formula One line-up.
    I was looking forward to see Kimi Raikkonen alongside Lewis and I believe it would be the strongest pair of drivers in all the teams, but it looks like Ferrari paid Kimi more to be in the stands than along him to race in other team… It’s typical Ferrari anti-fair-play, but we can’t really blame Kimi and if McLaren can have the World Champion (and the number ONE) in their cars for less money, it’s still a great deal looking at the drivers and having the last two World Champions on the team, the number ONE on the chassis, that’s got to worth a lot on money only in publicity, merchandising, etc.

    So, let’s see and hope for the best. The really important thing is that Ferrari dissolve a good pair of drivers thinking Alonso will give then a handful of Championships and in the end (and right at the beginning), the only thing he will give them is a serious headache and I can bet next season they are negotiating with him to get out, like McLaren did – I guess Ferrari like to throw money out the window…

    • Net Sticks said on 17th November 2009, 5:33

      Just to add a curiosity: An English team (McLaren) against a German team (Mercedes)… too bad Ferrari can’t find two Italian drivers that can do anything in F1 and Renault the same with French…
      It would be great (if you don’t are a Ferrari tiffosi) that the 2010 Formula One World Championship would be fought between McLaren and Mercedes (that were only one team in 2009) This after the Brawn / Honda episode of success, would be another unexpected but great year for Formula One and F1 fans, of course!

  10. GeeMac said on 17th November 2009, 6:52

    Next season could be epic! Mclaren, Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes all battling for top spot…can’t wait!

    Any of 8 drivers by my count (Jenson, Lewis, Alonso, Massa, Vettel, Webber, and whoever ends up at mercedes) could be in the running for race wins…

  11. steph said on 17th November 2009, 7:06

    This news is not good in my opinion. Hamilton will probably always be number 1 there but what I’m most annoyed at is the great dream of the best in the business fighting it out. Kimi Lewis vs Felipe fernando with Seb and Robert in the mix. No more kimi in f1?:(

  12. shery said on 17th November 2009, 8:14

    its very obvious that now mercedez is gonna take kimi..they are a new team with so big name…what i feel is that mercedez wanted to make room for kimi thats why they never finalised a deal with button..we all know why brawn won this year’s championship…this will not happen again when the natural order will restore….button is not capable of performing when the car is not the BEST on the grid..they want the two best drivers to challenge the likes of alonso/massa in ferrari and hamilton in mclaren…and its only kimi raikkonen..
    “Clearly a German driver would be nice for them but we don’t need two German drivers, that’s not the intent.”,,,,nick fry,,,

    in this way they will have a german driver nico rosberg and a strong driver kimi raikkonen to challenge ferrari and mclaren..

  13. shery said on 17th November 2009, 8:16

    we,ve been discussing that how mercedez-mclaren deal has an effect on kimi-mclaren deal..it directly implies that mercedez wants kimi in mercedez gp…think for a minute why wont they be willing to pay 8 million pounds to button..cant mercedez offord him?..they surely can..
    and this deal is in good interest of all mclaren,kimi and mercedez..but yes someone is going to loose in all this..and its jenson button..another heiki kovaleinen

    • steph said on 17th November 2009, 8:39

      Kimi has made it clear he only wants Mclaren:s

      • Maksutov said on 17th November 2009, 9:33

        but that is before he knew that Mercedes might get more involved. So I would say there is good chance now that Kimi teams up with Rosberg? I would love to see that.

      • I thought Raikkonen’s conditions for a seat next year were a car that could win the championship and a team prepared to pay him what he wants. This second condition initially ruled Brawn out but it won’t rule Mercedes out.

        Also in some comments I have read it is implied that Raikkonen’s pay off from Ferrari for next is larger if he doesn’t race in F1, which is why he won’t accept a lower salary from McLaren as he will be losing money. I know the Ferrari pay off will be confidential but is the accepted view?

  14. HounslowBusGarage said on 17th November 2009, 9:07

    Mercedes F1. I wonder if that indicates a problem for their DTM involvement next year?

  15. Jenson, please please please dont leave Ross Brawn. It will be a fatal move to go to McLaren beside Hamilton.

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