Why Mercedes is better off than Renault
Renault has powered Red Bull to three world championships. Mercedes' works team has won one race in the same period. But as Dieter Rencken explains, Merc's position in F1 politics is much stronger
At the end of 2009 the Formula 1 programmes of two major motor manufacturers headed in opposite directions. Both brands had won back-to-back championships during the past five years; both had been tarnished by '-gate' scandals – Mercedes via its shareholding and technical partnership with Spygate-hit McLaren in 2007, Renault with Crashgate the next season – and both operations wished to reinvent themselves.
Mercedes had won grands prix and titles with McLaren and, in 2009, with Brawn. That was one of the most tumultuous seasons ever, one in which the teams threatened to form a breakaway championship and collectively pushed for a more favourable Concorde Agreement*, the provisions of which shifted power to them and returned around 50 per cent of the sport's underlying revenues to the competitors.
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