Mercedes has confirmed that it will enter its own team into Formula One in 2010 after purchasing a controlling stake in defending champions Brawn GP.
The deal will see the Brawn name disappear after just a single season of competition – albeit one that was rewarded with both the drivers' and constructors' titles – with the team now operating under the banner of Mercedes Grand Prix.
Under the terms of the deal, Daimler and Aabar Investments will take a 75.1 per cent stake in the Brawn team, with Daimler holding 45.1 per cent of the shares and Aabar around 30 per cent. The remaining shares will stay with the current stakeholders.
As a result of the deal with Brawn, Mercedes will now sell its shares in McLaren back to the McLaren Group, with the deal to be completed by 2011. Mercedes will continue to supply engines to the team through to 2015.
“Mercedes-Benz is the most valued and best-known premium automotive brand in the world,” Dr. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said. “This brand looks for competition of the utmost quality in all relevant fields in order to continually improve its performance in the face of such new challenges.
“Due to the new Formula 1 environment, we will face the competition in future on the most important motor sports stage with our own Silver Arrow works team.
“I want to thank McLaren for a successful collaboration over the last decade and a half. For the benefit of both Mercedes and McLaren, we will continue our partnership co-operation in future. We will be rivals on-track but, off-track, we will co-operate with McLaren and the other teams in order to create the best possible product for spectators worldwide.”
Despite the purchase of the team, Ross Brawn will continue to hold the role of team principal as the Brackley-based squad chases championship honours again in 2010.
"Brawn GP has been through an incredible journey over the last 12 months,” he said. “From fighting for our survival to forging a strong relationship with Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines, winning both the Constructors' and Drivers' World Cham-pionships, and now accepting Daimler and Aabar's offer to buy our team, which will secure its future.
"Both I and my fellow Directors at Brawn GP are incredibly proud of our staff, drivers and everyone associated with our team and thank them for their commitment, outstanding teamwork and their focus on achieving results in sometimes difficult circumstances.
"The senior management group will remain in place to lead our team and on behalf of everyone at Brawn GP, we are honoured to be rep-resenting such a prestigious brand as Mercedes-Benz in Formula One next year and will be working together to do our best to reward their faith in our team."