Mercedes buys Brawn GP, Button joins McLaren and Raikkonen takes a break from F1

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.

15 thoughts to “Mercedes buys Brawn GP, Button joins McLaren and Raikkonen takes a break from F1”

  1. On the Mercedes news story. Articles taken from

    McLaren will retain its engine supply deal with Mercedes-Benz for at least another six years, despite the German car company’s new involvement at Brawn GP.

    Mercedes-Benz ended weeks of speculation about its future F1 plans on Monday when it announced that it was buying a controlling stake in Brawn.

    Its switch in focus to Brawn had led to speculation that it could turn its back on McLaren entirely when its current deal ended in 2011.

    However, following discussions over the last few weeks, McLaren and Mercedes-Benz have reached agreement for an engine supply deal until at least the end of 2015. The terms of the deal mean that there are options for the commitment to extend beyond then too.

    With Mercedes switching its main focus to Brawn GP, it has also been announced that the McLaren Group will purchase the 40 per cent shareholding that Daimler AG currently has in the team. This will take place in a phased process to be completed before 2011.

    McLaren Group boss Ron Dennis believes that his company’s Formula 1 team will come out of its revised partnership with Mercedes-Benz a stronger force thanks to its increased independence.

    Mercedes-Benz announced on Monday that it was to focus its efforts on Brawn GP , and bring an end to what had been an exclusive tie-up with McLaren.

    Although those plans mean McLaren will not enjoy the financial support from Mercedes-Benz it has had in the past, Dennis believes that the benefits of being free to run its own car company, McLaren Automotive, will actually be a help to its F1 efforts.

    His stance comes after a deal was struck with Mercedes-Benz to confirm the German car maker will supply engines until the end of 2015 at the earliest – with options available to keep the partnership going beyond then.

    McLaren will also continue to run in the silver and red colours that have been a hallmark of its tie-up with both Mercedes-Benz and title sponsor Vodafone.

    “This is a win-win situation, for both McLaren and Daimler,” said Dennis, who is chairman of McLaren Automotive and a founding shareholder in the McLaren Group.

    “I’ve often stated that it’s my belief that, in order to survive and thrive in 21st-century Formula 1, a team must become much more than merely a team.

    “That being the case, in order to develop and sustain the revenue streams required to compete and win grands prix and world championships, companies that run Formula 1 teams must broaden the scope of their commercial activities.

    “Nonetheless, all of our partners will of course continue to play a crucial role in our Formula 1 programme. For that reason, and because the engines they produce are very competitive, we’re delighted that Mercedes-Benz has committed to continue not only as an engine supplier but also as a partner of ours until 2015 – and perhaps thereafter.”

    McLaren plans to buy back the 40 percent stake in the company that Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler has had in the team, which will further strengthen McLaren’s independence.

    Dennis added: “The next few years will be a very exciting time for McLaren, during which period we intend to become an ever-stronger technological and economic force. Formula 1 will always be a core activity, for sound business reasons as well as for historical sporting reasons: to be clear, our Formula 1 business has traditionally enjoyed great financial security, largely as a consequence of the longevity of our contracts with our partners, many of which have exceeded 15 years of continuous involvement with McLaren. Indeed, two of our partners have been with us for more than 25 years.

    “We’re risk-averse by design. Over the past two years we’ve analysed in great detail the challenge of entering the high-performance production sports car market. In the MP4-12C, which will be introduced to market in 2011, we have a car that has inherited the genes of the iconic McLaren F1 of 1994 and has already been the subject of much global media acclaim.

    “It is proposed that it will be produced in a new state-of-the-art production facility adjacent to the existing award-winning McLaren Technology Centre at Woking.”

    Q: Can you tell us if the look and feel of the Brawn will change to be Silver Arrows next year?

    Dieter Zetsch: The answer is yes. Without any detail so far of how this will look, we are on the way to develop that, but it will clearly be Silver Arrows.

    Q: Could you comment on driver line-up?

    DZ: Not yet, we are working diligently on that topic but there is no final decision there therefore I cannot comment on it.

    Q: Will you continue to supply Mercedes engines next season to McLaren?

    DZ: Yes, we will and not only next season but we agreed that we will do that ultimately – of course, for a price – to 2015.

    Q: You mentioned that McLaren has agreed to buy out the shareholding – is there any other penalty clause that you have to honour?

    DZ: There is no penalty whatsoever. There are contractual obligations that we will of course fulfil, but there is no penalty.

    Q: There has been a lot of speculation that the new Mercedes team may field two German drivers next season?

    DZ: What we would like to see would be the best drivers in the two seats. We certainly would not be opposed if one were German, but that is not a pre requisite which we would give the team.

    Norbert Haug: I read some speculation and I understand this because we could not give this information earlier. But this will be an international team for Mercedes-Benz is a global player. If you look back in our history we have very often been criticised for not having a German driver, so we were always open and we took the driver decision always together with McLaren. This will be the same in the future. We want to have the best ones and we definitely do not want to have the pure German team – it’s an international Silver Arrows team and we want to have the best drivers in the car.

    Q: It seems to be general knowledge that Nico Rosberg has already been hired and that because you’ve hired him you might be running scared of taking on Jenson Button?

    DZ: First of all, we have just announced that we will acquire a share in the Brawn team so we haven’t done anything so far. Whatever could have been done would have been done by Ross Brawn, so with that I would like to leave the speculation of drivers.

    Q Would you not want to have Jenson Button in the team next year?

    NH: We are in negotiations but all the accurate information is around and we are talking. That’s why we are not able to announcement driver line-up. We cannot comment on the drivers.

    Q: Has Ross Brawn given you a commitment for a certain number of years that he will stay in change?

    DZ: Yes, he has made a certain commitment and that was very valuable to us.

    Q: Can you put a figure on how much this is costing Daimler?

    DZ: No.

    Q: What about commercial sponsors?
    DZ: The only thing we can say is that a number of discussions are underway which are promising.

    Q: Ross Brawn is committed – will Nick Fry remain in his current role?

    DZ: Without going through the entire team in general I think the team has proved that it can be very competitive and successful, so from a shareholders perspective, there’s no reason to change a winning team.

    Will the team remain in the UK?

    DZ: Yes. That is obviously a great advantage because Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines are close neighbours and this is logistically highly welcome.

    You said there is no reason to change a winning team and Jenson Button is a key element as a winning driver. There’s confusion as to why someone is asking for a salary that is smaller than some world champions are getting hasn’t been snapped up?

    DZ: It seems that you have more information than I do.

    To continue with that, the negotiations between Button and Brawn have been with Ross, but now Mercedes is in charge that presumably changes the financial landscape – will that mean you take over the negotiations?

    DZ: No. It’s very similar to what we used to have in our partnership before. Very clearly, Ross Brawn is the team principal he runs the team together with his management team. I am involved as the responsible guy in Mercedes Motorsport, but he is the boss of the team and we have to report to Stuttgart so we are co-ordinated. So in reality if you have discussions and you are a racer you will not find most of the time five different names on the list, you will find two or three so you come to agreement. Very clearly Ross Brawn is the team principal, we are co-ordinated and that’s it.

    Norbert, when will you be able to name your drivers?

    NH: I would rather hope next week, but don’t kill me if it [takes] a couple of weeks longer.

    What are the strategic objectives?

    DZ: First of all the brand of motor racing goes back to motor racing. You do motor racing in order to promote your brand in the world market – there’s no other platform in sport – or perhaps even beyond – with such a strong presence around the globe and in emerging markets. With the history of Mercedes we have the best opportunity to use that programme for the improvement of our brand.

    You mentioned McLaren branching into road cars as being part of the reason – were the big scandals that the team was involved in a factor?

    DZ: We are looking forward. We gave you the clear information, we had a very successful common history with four championships and many victories and now we continue as engine partner.

  2. Kimi Raikkonen taking a break from Formula One in 2010. Read the news article below:

    Kimi Raikkonen will be missing from the grid in 2010 after failing to agree a deal to drive for McLaren, according to his management. Raikkonen, who has a keen interest in rallying, is expected to pursue other options next year as he looks to secure a winning drive for 2011.

    The Finn, 2007 world champion with Ferrari, agreed to leave the Italian team at the end of this season despite having a year of his contract still to run, in order to make way for Fernando Alonso. He has always said he would only contemplate staying in the sport with a top team.

    “The Formula One alternatives for next season were McLaren or nothing,” Raikkonen’s manager Steve Robertson was quoted as saying by Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat. “Kimi and McLaren could not reach an agreement, so he will not drive at F1 level – at least not next year.”

    Raikkonen previously spent five seasons with McLaren, from 2002 to 2006, winning nine Grands Prix and twice finishing runner-up in the drivers’ championship. He moved to Ferrari for 2007, taking the title that year, but was overshadowed by team mate Felipe Massa the following season.

    This year Raikkonen has experienced mixed fortunes, with pundits repeatedly questioning his level of motivation. He won the Belgian Grand Prix, but was subsequently hampered by Ferrari’s decision to halt development of their 2009 car.

    He also made his World Rally Championship debut at his home event in August, setting competitive times before crashing out. He could now return to that series next year, although Robertson hinted his driver’s Formula One career is far from over.

    “Kimi still lives and breathes driving ambition,” he added. “In that sense a year off means nothing. More important is to find a place for Kimi where he can fight for victory and the world championship.”

    “It’s hard to believe that I have been in Formula One for nine years already,” was Raikkonen’s own take on the situation earlier this month. “I am very motivated to win races and a championship again and will only remain in Formula One if I can race for a team that can give me a car to fight at the front.”

    Raikkonen’s apparent removal from the running for a 2010 McLaren seat has already boosted media speculation that the British team could sign reigning world champion Jenson Button to partner Lewis Hamilton next season.

  3. Jenson’s move to McLaren and racing alongside Lewis Hamilton. News stories taken from and BBC Sport.

    Jenson Button has no fears about going up against Lewis Hamilton next year after completing a deal to partner his predecessor as world champion at McLaren.

    The 29-year-old told F1 Racing earlier today, shortly before his McLaren deal was announced, that he believes that he has the ability to do well against Hamilton despite rating him as one of the best in the sport.

    “No – I think in Formula 1 you’re racing against very talented drivers and we don’t get here by chance,” said Button when asked by F1 Racing whether he would be afraid of going up against Hamilton.

    “But racing against any new team-mate is always exciting and it’s a challenge. Especially racing against a past world champion. He might have only been in F1 for three years, but he has a lot of experience in a good team and a good car, so competing against him is definitely going to be a challenge.

    “Would I fancy my chances against him? Well every driver would, every driver wants to show to themselves more than anyone else how good they are.”

    Button believes that you have to be willing to go up against the best drivers in the world in equal machinery to prove yourself in Formula 1.

    “We all think we are up there with the best of them, but when you look at it you don’t know if you are better than someone else unless you are racing against them in the same car,” he said.

    “You can say you are the best in the world and you can feel you are the best in the world but you never know until you go head to head with them.”

    Sir Jackie Stewart –

  4. Jenson Button’s decision to join Lewis Hamilton at McLaren for the 2010 Formula 1 World Championship sets up the strongest all-British driver pairing for many a year. has provided an interesting article on past driver pairing. See the link here:

    Before the big news announcement, Ross Brawn commented that Jenson should stay with his team. See the Autosport story here:

  5. While it is good to see Mercedes taking a bigger role in the sport I do find it a shame that Button is going to McLaren as they will inevitably favour Hamilton not to mention the dubious record they have in regards to cheating. Button is too good for such a team, although it is understandable given Mercedes’ want for two German drivers.

    Still, the 2010 season will be interesting given all the new teams. If that is they all turn up, my money is on US F1 being the least likely to turn up as I don’t think Americans can understand a motorsport than doesn’t involve an oval.


  6. I have to agree with you Janus that Jenson Button will feel like an outsider when he makes his debut at McLaren next season. Lewis Hamilton is quite comfortable in the team and his driving style has suited the characteristics of the past racing cars – aggressive on the brakes and steering.

    It remains to be seen whether the next McLaren – the MP4-25 will suit Jenson’s smooth driving style, but let’s hope he will be ease in the new car.

    As for Raikkonen, according to Autosport he might go to the Mercedes GP team. But only if he can challenge for race victories. Read the full article below:

    Kimi Raikkonen would be willing to consider a race seat at Mercedes Grand Prix next season – but only if the team could convince him it will be good enough to fight for race wins and the world championship.

    Raikkonen is currently facing the prospect of taking a sabbatical from Formula 1 next year after he could not reach an agreement with his preferred option McLaren for a drive alongside Lewis Hamilton. With his talks there stalled, McLaren instead completed a deal with Jenson Button.

    Although Raikkonen said recently that it was McLaren or nothing for him in F1 next year, Button’s shock exit from the former Brawn GP team may have changed the situation.

    Raikkonen’s manager Steve Robertson said on Thursday that although a sabbatical remained the most likely outcome, the 2007 world champion would listen to any offer that Mercedes made if it was interested.

    “This is Formula 1. If they can offer, or convince us, that they can provide Kimi an opportunity that Kimi is happy with, and that we are happy with, and he feels he can win races and the championship, then never say never,” Robertson told AUTOSPORT about the situation with Mercedes GP. “There is always a possibility.”

    He added: “There are not that many teams that would appeal to Kimi because he is honest when he says he has got to have a car to win. He is not interested in the money.

    “Of course, money is a part of it but he doesn’t need the money. He wants a car where he can show his talent. He was very frustrated this year by the fact that he could not win more races and challenge for the championship.

    “When you have been in F1 for nine years and been a world champion then you need challenges – and for Kimi the challenge is to win championships and races.”

    Robertson said that Raikkonen had the desire to compete at the top level in F1 and that even if he went off and did rallying for a year, he would definitely work hard to find a seat with a front-running F1 team for 2011.

    When asked if Raikkonen had the hunger to get back into F1, Robertson said: “Yes. As far as Kimi is concerned he has unfinished business – if the opportunity is there to win races and another championship. That is his main goal.

    “Now it looks like he is not doing F1 we will look at other options. Rallying, or something else – but there is nothing firmed up in that area yet because F1 has only just finished for us in the last few days. Now it is the time to discuss other things.”

  7. I suppose Kimi going to Mercedes depends on how much they want two German drivers. Personally I’d take Raikkonen over Heidfield any day as a driver but would Mercedes see it like that?


  8. If I was Norbert Haug, president of Mercedes-Benz motorsport department, I would consider Kimi Raikkonen as he brings experience to the team but the Finn’s demand for a high paycheck is a major issue… In fact, the Iceman has said he would only be in Formula One providing he has a chance to win races and championships. Can Mercedes do this? McLaren can but cannot justify his salary. Anyway, read the article below plus a link to the Q&A via

    Kimi Raikkonen has said he will only return to Formula 1 in 2011 if he is guaranteed a drive that will allow him to fight for wins and the championship.

    Ahead of his likely sabbatical in 2010, Raikkonen said that his decision to take a year out came about because he could not agree terms with McLaren over a race deal – and that he will not come back at all if he cannot secure a top-line drive.

    “I felt McLaren offered the best opportunity to win races and challenge for the drivers’ championship and if that would not work the one-year break is the result,” he told the official Formula 1 website. “And to be honest, I will only return in 2011 if a competitive drive is available.”

    He added: “I do not want to race just to make up the numbers. That does not interest me. But there’s a lot of time until then, so let’s wait and see what happens in the months ahead.”

    Raikkonen’s manager Steve Robertson said on Thursday that the Finn was ready to consider a Mercedes GP drive if the team could prove it would be competitive in 2010 – although Raikkonen himself has said that there has been no contact yet.

    “No, I have not held talks with Brawn,” he said. “I feel they will run two German drivers next year now that Mercedes are involved.”

    And Raikkonen has reiterated that he has the desire to return to F1 and achieve more success.

    “I have enjoyed my time in F1 and I still have ambitions. In the right circumstances I am very keen to return. The door is open. Let’s see what the future brings.”

    Q&A with Kimi Raikkonen:

  9. Jenson Button insists the need for a new challenge was the only reason why he decided to leave the Brawn team to drive for McLaren next year.

    Button secured his first world title with Brawn this year, but decided to sign a three-year deal to join Lewis Hamilton at McLaren from next season.

    “I’m very excited,” Button told Radio 5 Live. “The season just gone has been a very special one. Since I’ve been with Brawn, our aim was always to win the title, and it’s exactly what we did, so it wasn’t an easy decision to make to leave.

    “I spent so long there through the BAR and Honda years, and it’s been a real emotional rollercoaster since then. It’s just something I needed to do at this point in my life.

    “It was 100 per cent my choice. For me, the move is because it’s going to be a huge challenge to go up against Lewis in his environment. My goal since I was eight years old has been to win the world title, and I’ve done that now. Now I feel I need a new challenge.”

    The Briton denied the decision had been motivated by financial issues.

    “No. I’m earning less than I would have at Brawn. I didn’t move for money and everyone knows it. It’s something new for me. I’ll have to work very hard in the new situation I’ve put myself in, and I intend to do it.

    “Of course it’s not going to be easy, but I’m very excited about the challenge. I’ve got to work very hard to achieve what I want to achieve.”

    Button also admitted Brawn had done everything possible to try and retain him.

    “Yes they did. We had a very good relationship, especially with Ross. I couldn’t have done it without him. It’s been a real team effort. For most people the normal progression is to stay with the team. For me though, this is exciting. It’s what I need right now.”

    The world champion, who had been with the team since the 2003 season, is expecting his relationship with Brawn to change because of his move.

    “It’s going to be a different relationship, of course, because I’m not in the team any more. We’re not fighting for the title any more. We’ve achieved that. Instead I’m going to be a rival of Mercedes Grand Prix. We’ll still have a good relationship though. We’ve been through a lot together. ”

    He conceded the emotional side played a role in making his decision to leave Brawn harder, but Button said the new challenge was too exciting to turn it down.

    “I was excited, but there was a lot to think about because I’d been with Brawn for seven years. On an emotional side there was definitely lots to think about.

    “The challenge of going up against Lewis in his environment was a challenge. Tough, but a challenge. For me, I achieved everything I wanted to with Brawn with winning the title in ’09 and I’m looking for new challenges. At this point in my career it’s an exciting opportunity that I’m going to take.”


  10. It does seem strange that Jenson would go to Mclaren knowing full well that despite being worlld champion, he would still be no.2 in the team. If rumors are to be true that he is only at best on the same money as he would have been had he stayed at Merc GP, then there is an underlying reason. Trust me, someone who stuck with BAR/Honda/Brawn and take a big pay cut, for then to up sticks and of course be as down to earth as Jenson, there is something else to this. What could it be?

    Shuey is back! Well maybe. Merc would love it for him to race for them, but I just cannot see this happening. There is just too much to do/red tape/fitness for this to happen.

    but what a line up for next year! OK so I have massive respect for Micheals immense talent, and one that could still make him champion, I still cannot stand the cheating twat. However, I’d easily prefer Shuey than rumored Kubica so go Germany! Just imagine though what it could do for the team! Mercedes money, Schumacher and the one and only Ross Brawn! Good things could happen for Merc GP, as without him, as good as some free drivers are atm, I just dont see Merc Gp doing ANYTHING next year. Without Shuey, they’ll be in the mid field with all the rest. Loosing Button and Rubins was the worst thing that could have happen to this team. Huge mistake, albeit, probably the doing of Mercedes. Just goes to show, they should stick to making engines only!

    As for Kimi, well, that is it for him. I just dont think there will be a way back for him after a year out. He’ll demand way too much money and sod all PR work and want a prime seat in a prime team, after a year out?! Nah wont happen. TBO I wont slit my wrists over him going. He was a fantastic driver when he could be bothered to be. But god that bloke is dull. And they say Shuey was bad! Now listening him drone on about this and that, that could lead me to slit my wrists! If he goes to rallying then I’ll be sure to watch though. That ‘so laid back he’d fall over lying down’ demeanor could prove a great asset when driver at over a 100mph over a gravel road.

  11. Thanks for the comment Invisiblekid. I’ve heard about the rumours that Michael Schumacher is linked to a drive with the new Mercedes GP team, but to be honest, I don’t think it will happen. Yes, the dream team of Schumi with his old work colleague Ross Brawn will bring wins and championship success but that was in the past. Look back at sportscars (when Michael was winning endurance events with Mercedes before joining F1), the Benetton and Ferrari era. In addition, didn’t Schumacher have a neck injury this year meaning he couldn’t take over Felipe Massa’s seat in the F60?

    News on Jenson Button’s move to McLaren has even shocked this year’s championship runner-up Sebastian Vettel. The German is surprised by the the new champion to switch teams. Read the story for the full details below:

    Sebastian Vettel was shocked by title rival Jenson Button’s move to McLaren, and expects Mercedes GP to be a strong contender in 2010.

    The German, who finished second in this year’s world championship, said he was not expecting Button to leave the team with which he won both the drivers’ and constructors’ titles, especially given that it had just become a manufacturer outfit, with Mercedes taking controlling equity.

    “I think it was a surprise to everyone,” Vettel told AUTOSPORT. “Brawn GP, now Mercedes GP, was very very strong this year. They won the drivers’ and constructors’ championships. They had a very good car, a good team and it’s always a surprise if a champion, in a champion team, is leaving.

    “You don’t know if things will change completely next year, but in that regard for Brawn GP it was a very positive thing to happen that Mercedes is now taking over and it’s a manufacturer team.

    “So it was a surprise and for next year they’re going to be strong. McLaren always has been. This year they were struggling a little bit but I think looking back they’ve always been strong.”

    Vettel said it would be intriguing to watch how Button fares as the new boy coming in at McLaren, with Lewis Hamilton entering his fourth season with the team.

    “I think it will be interesting,” he said. “They’re obviously both English and McLaren is an English team. Lewis knows the team very well, already for a couple of years now, Jenson is the new one coming in, so we will see.”

    The 22-year-old expects the usual top teams to be back in contention for the world championship in 2010, following a year of shake-ups in the established order due to the new tehcnical regulations. However he remains confident of Red Bull Racing getting even stronger after being Brawn GP’s main rival this year.

    “I’m very confident in how strong we are in Red Bull and we will get even stronger,” said Vettel. “It will be a nice challenge next year, not only with McLaren, also with Mercedes GP, whose drivers we don’t know yet, and also with Ferrari, same as McLaren.

    “The rules change a little bit, no refuelling, a little bit different tyres but not that much. Not like from 2008 to 2009, so we’ll see in the first test.”

  12. Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug fuelled speculation about Michael Schumacher’s rumoured return to Formula 1, refusing to categorically deny the German could drive for the team.

    Team boss Ross Brawn told German newspaper Bild over the weekend that rumours of a possible return by the seven-time champion were a “fantasy of the media”.

    “Michael would have come back temporarily for Ferrari but he doesn’t want to begin a new career,” Brawn added.

    “I think that we have to live with these speculations,” said Haug during a press conference. “What Ross pointed out, I think we have to respect that. I fully understand that these speculations are ongoing as long as we don’t announce who is driving the other car but that’s what we have to live with.”

    When asked to categorically deny Schumacher could drive the car, Haug added: “When will you ever say categorically anything in F1? Ross made it quite clear and I really have nothing to add.”

    Mercedes GP chief executive Nick Fry was also unwilling to discuss the Schumacher rumours.

    “I’ve got nothing to add to that,” he said. “We are here today to talk about Nico Rosberg and we should stick with that subject. Ross has answered the question extremely well.”

    Fry said Mercedes was in no great hurry to finalise who would partner Rosberg in its 2010 line-up, but that the decision was likely within the next month.

    “It obviously would have been ideal to announce them together but that’s impossible,” he said.

    “We don’t have huge time pressure at the moment, but once one goes beyond Christmas and into the new year it becomes slightly more difficult with seat fits in time for the engineers to talk to the driver. I would hope on the other driver to do it before Christmas purely for logistical reasons.”


  13. German racing driver Nico Rosberg will race for the Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix team in 2010 but there is no news on the second driver, despite the on-going rumours of Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher. Read the official articles on the Rosberg’s move to the outfit courtesy of

    Nico Rosberg has been announced as Mercedes Grand Prix’s first driver for the 2010 season.

    The signing of the 24-year-old German has been expected ever since he confirmed in October that he would not remain with Williams for a fifth straight season.

    “I am really happy to be a part of the Silver Arrows re-launch in 2010 as a driver for Mercedes,” said Rosberg.

    “No other brand in Formula 1 can look back on such a long and successful tradition in motor racing. I am very proud that I will now drive for the new Mercedes team and work with Ross Brawn.

    “I am more motivated than ever and can hardly wait to start testing with the new Silver Arrow and for the first race of the new season at Bahrain in March.”

    Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn, who guided the squad to drivers’ and constructors’ titles this year under the guise of Brawn GP, believes that Rosberg is the ideal driver to join the team for 2010.

    “We are delighted to welcome Nico to our Mercedes team and are very much looking forward to working with him,” he said.

    “Nico is a great talent, and with four years of experience in Formula 1, is a driver who will be able to make a valuable contribution to our team right from the outset.

    “I had the pleasure of working with his father Keke during his Formula One career and it is great to see Nico following in his footsteps.

    “2009 was Nico’s best season in Formula 1 to date and we look forward to seeing his development continue with us at Mercedes next year.”

    Rosberg’s team-mate is expected to be fellow German Nick Heidfeld, although no announcement has been made.

    Mercedes motorsport vice-president Norbert Haug says new signing Nico Rosberg has impressed him throughout his racing career and is definitely ready to become a regular winner in Formula 1.

    Rosberg was announced as the first driver for the new Mercedes GP team – formed by the German company’s recent purchase of the title-winning Brawn squad – earlier today.

    Haug said he had been following Rosberg since his karting days and had long been impressed.

    “I’ve followed his career for a very long time,” he said. “I know Keke [Rosberg] very well and I followed his career which shows how old I am! I’ve known Nico since he was a young boy but this is not the reason that he is now driving for us.

    “He was very impressive from his first races in karts that I have followed – obviously we helped the guys, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at that stage with the so-called MBM Mercedes-Benz McLaren kart team.

    “And Nico came into the support programme of DTM in Formula BMW ADAC, won everything and raced for us with Mercedes engines in F3. And more recently he achieved a lot in GP2.

    “He has starred in every category and in his first F1 race he got the fastest lap. He is very capable and this was the reason.

    “He did an exceptional job for Williams-Toyota this year and delivered some very strong races that come to mind like coming home fourth from 15th at the Nurburgring. He brought the car to the finish very often, not a lot of mistakes, good speed in qualifying – all of that was the reason behind it.”

    Rosberg was unable to win a race during his four seasons with Williams, but did take two podium finishes in 2008, and a career-best seventh place in the drivers’ standings this year.

  14. The idea of placing Michael Schumacher in the second seat at Mercedes will be a dream for F1 fans alike, but I really much doubt it will happen. The main question will be does he still have the desire to race/compete in the sport? Even Niki Lauda has commented that a Schumi return is unlikely. Read the story for the full details.

    Triple world champion Niki Lauda reckons there is no chance whatsoever that Michael Schumacher will make his rumoured comeback with Mercedes GP.

    Mercedes motorsport vice-president Norbert Haug has declined to dismiss the speculation that his team wants Schumacher as Nico Rosberg’s team-mate in 2010.

    The seven times world champion had intended to make a comeback with Ferrari last summer to deputise for the sidelined Felipe Massa, but a lingering neck injury from a motorcycle accident cancelled that plan.

    Lauda, who returned to Formula 1 himself two and a half years after his initial retirement from the sport, said he understood why Schumacher had been interested in the Ferrari chance, but cannot envisage him wanting to make a full-time comeback.

    “I don’t believe that there is one single grain of truth in [the rumours], at least from all the signals that I get,” Lauda told the official Formula 1 website.

    “There was a window of opportunity after Felipe’s accident and had Michael been fit he would have taken up that chance to race for three or four races – to prove himself, get the adrenaline rush, and see where he stood in the pecking order.

    “But I cannot believe that he would be up for a full season. Why then did he stop racing in the first place? But that is my personal opinion.”

    With McLaren having signed world champion Jenson Button, Lauda thinks Mercedes is short of good options for its second car. Nick Heidfeld is the current favourite for the drive.

    “With the Button departure, Rosberg is at the moment their only driver – a good man for sure, but good men get even better with a team-mate that gives them a hard time 24 hours a day,” he said.

    “That is positive, performance and development-wise. They have to be very careful now in their selection, trying to get a top man for the second cockpit.

    “Ferrari’s pairing of [Fernando] Alonso and Massa and McLaren with their two British champions will be very, very competitive. We have also seen how [Sebastian] Vettel and [Mark] Webber egg each other on to top performances, so the ‘Silver Arrows’ will be confronted with competitors with top driver line-ups. In my opinion all the top drivers are already signed.”

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