Mercedes' works team move explained
As other manufacturers depart Formula 1, Mercedes has proved it still believes in the sport by turning Brawn into a new factory team. Dieter Rencken analyses the German giant's decision and other 2010 moves
Mercedes' entry into Formula 1 in its own right was utterly predictable. Here was a producer of premium automobiles which (re)entered F1 back in 1993 (as 'concept' partner to Sauber), purchased the Ilmor engine operation, acquired a 40 per cent stake in McLaren, with which Mercedes won a string of titles and grands prix and co-produced the flagship SLR range, and powered teams as diverse as Force India and title winner Brawn. Yet Mercedes had no say on drivers or staffing, no seat within FOTA and was not party to the Concorde Agreement.
Indeed, Mercedes was not even free to provide its own engines to teams of its choosing, for McLaren is said to have had right of veto over supply to additional teams. This allegedly resulted in Red Bull Racing being unable to replace Renault power with triple-pointed-star V8s - despite Mercedes dearly wishing to get its hands on Sebastian Vettel after BMW mysteriously allowed the German superstar to slip away.
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