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On The Grid: Mercedes GP
One of the biggest names in motoring
Posted Jul 14, 2011 by Chris White
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Mercedes joined the Formula One world championship in 1954, and were successful in their two seasons before withdrawing. Despite a number of partnership opportunities, Mercedes didn’t return until 2009 under the name of Brawn GP, run by former Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn.
After a 15-year partnership with the McLaren team, Mercedes Benz decided to pull out and reached an agreement to purchase a 75.1% stake in the Brawn team, and parent company Daimler AG, and Aabar Investments bought the remaining 24.9% in February this year.
The opportunity to buy out the Brawn team came on the back of a successful 2009 season for the team, in which they won both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships in their first, and only, campaign having bought out the Honda Racing F1 team.
German legend and seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher was chosen as the team’s main driver, and Nico Rosberg joined him behind the wheel. They finished in fourth place overall in the constructors championship in their debut season, with Rosberg finishing higher up the standings than his more experience team mate.
The previous year’s drivers' world champion Jenson Button moved to McLaren alongside Lewis Hamilton, while Rubens Barrichello moved to the Williams team. One reason for the break from McLaren was “because of McLaren’s ambitious plans to build road cars”, losing focus on their goals in Formula One, which, is what Mercedes were working with them in.
In December 2010, it was announced that Petronas, the Malaysian oil supplier would be joining the Mercedes team as title sponsors.
So far in 2011, the team have picked up 68 points in the constructors’ championship, sitting in fourth place behind the ‘big three’ of Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari, with their best finishes coming in China and Spain.
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