Formula One champions Brawn GP will compete next season as the official Mercedes factory team after the German carmaker announced a takeover yesterday.
Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche, whose company owns Mercedes, told reporters that Ross Brawn would remain principal of the British-based team while the carmaker will continue to supply long-term partners McLaren with engines until at least the end of 2015.
“In the changed environment of Formula One, we will face the competition on the most important motor sports stage from now on with our own Silver Arrows works team,” he said.
Mercedes had been 40 percent shareholders in McLaren but that team, who won the title last year with Lewis Hamilton, said in a separate statement that they had agreed to buy back the stake by 2011.
Brawn GP, who emerged from the remains of departed Honda, won the championship in their debut season at the Brazilian Grand Prix last month with Britain’s Jenson Button also securing the drivers’ title.
Mercedes wouldn’t comment on who would be driving for Brawn.
Button is out of contract and has also been talking to McLaren.
The deal, which had been expected, gives Mercedes a majority shareholding in Brawn with Abu Dhabi investment company Aabar, which owns 9.1 percent of Daimler.
The two combined will own 75.1 percent of Brawn, with Daimler holding 45.1 percent.
“Brawn GP has been through an incredible journey over the last 12 months,” Brawn said in a statement. “From fighting for our survival to forging a strong relationship with Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines, winning both the Constructors’ and Drivers’ World Championships, and now accepting Aabar and Daimler’s offer to buy our team which will secure its future.”
The new outfit are expected to plump for Nico Rosberg as their No. 1 driver — a move that would be popular in Germany — with his countryman Nick Heidfeld a likely partner.
Mercedes Sports boss Norbert Haug said on Sunday he was attempting to secure Heidfeld, who has driven for BMW since 2006.