Monday, November 16, 2009

Mercedes-Benz Buys Majority Stake In Brawn GP; Becoming Mercedes Grand Prix in 2010

Image Acquired From Brawn GP/Mercedes Grand Prix

Winning the 2009 Formula 1 constructor champion by winning 8 times in their first season with Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello driving, Brawn GP was the Cinderella story of modern auto racing. Spun off the less than successful factory Honda Formula 1 team, former Ferrari and Renault technical director Ross Brawn retained the personal of the past team but sought the power of a Mercedes-Benz powerplant. As Brawn GP reveled as their Mercedes-Benz engines, few would have known that the German automaker wished to end their customer relationship. Instead, Mercedes-Benz (under parent company Daimler AG) decided to evolve their customer into their new factory team for 2010.

Announced Monday, Daimler AG, partnered with Abu Dhabi-based principal investment firm Aabar Investments PJSC, bought over 75.1% controlling interest to the one-year Formula 1 entrant Brawn GP. Renaming the team Mercedes Grand Prix, minority team owner and team leader Ross Brawn will continue to have an important presence in the new team.

While Brawn GP gains the factory support of Mercedes-Benz, The German auto giant also announced a change in their 14-year relationship with McLaren Mercedes Formula One. With Mercedes-Benz already possessing a 40 percent stake in this previous partnership, a preparation has been made for McLaren to buy back Mercedes-Benz's share of the team by 2011. However, as the auto manufacturer divests their interest from McLaren, Mercedes-Benz has also entered into a long-term engine supply deal for the Mclaren F1 team through the 2015 season.

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