The last couple of days in the Formula One world have reveal several major changes to the new 2010 season.
The first news story is Mercedes purchasing a 75.1 per cent share of Ross Brawn’s racing team. Following the success of winning the championship double, the German car manufacturer has latched onto the Brawn GP outfit and has rebranded the team as Mercedes GP for the following season.
Nico Rosberg is expected to drive for the Silver Arrows with a possibility of running Nick Heidfeld as the second German driver.
This takeover maybe one of the reason (other than pay) that has forced Jenson Button to look for a new drive elsewhere. Though there are stories that his manager was asking for more money from Ross Brawn since Button is the current Formula One world champion.
Following the buyout of Brawn GP, the focus shifted to Kimi Raikkonen. Where would the Iceman end up next season? With Fernando Alonso joining the Scuderia in 2010, the Finn was on his way out after three years representing the Prancing Horse.
There were two teams available to Kimi, his old former team McLaren and the massively financially-backed Toyota racing organisation. Unfortunately, the Japanese manufacturer pulled out with immediate effect blaming the current economical crisis, so the only place to go was McLaren.
But the amount of money Raikkonen’s management was asking for to drive the McLaren was way too much and without a race-winning car available, the Finn announced that he was taking a sabbatical from the sport.
This paved way for Jenson Button. The 2009 world champion couldn’t reach an agreement with Ross Brawn/Nick Fry over an increase in pay after winning the title, so the only option was to take the seat alongside Lewis Hamilton.
By having two British champions at McLaren-Mercedes, it brings a sense of excitement to motor racing fans. It will be interesting how these two great drivers will work with one another but one thing is certain, it marks the strongest pairing since Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost back in the late 80s and early 90s.
Whether Button can cope with the new pressure environment at McLaren or his extremely fast team-mate remains to be seen. Sir Jackie Stewart has commented that he has made an unwise decision to switch teams. But what can be said is that Formula One 2010 is shaping up to be a classic.