Brawn confirm Mercedes takeover

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The Independent Online

Mercedes-Benz will head up their own Formula One team next season after taking a 75.1 per cent share in Brawn GP, the British-based constructors have confirmed.

Mercedes engines powered Brawn's Jenson Button to the world championship in the recently-completed season and the team also claimed the constructors' championship, while Lewis Hamilton, Button's predecessor as world champion, was also sitting behind a Mercedes engine in his McLaren.

Ross Brawn will remain as team principal.

The team will become known as Mercedes Grand Prix, with Brawn in control, while Mercedes-Benz Motorsport vice-president Norbert Haug will work with the F1 team and the engine team of Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines.

As part of the deal, Mercedes' parent company Daimler AG relinquished their 40 per cent stake in McLaren, but will remain their engine suppliers for the next six seasons.

A statement released on Brawn GP's website read: "Mercedes-Benz will enter the Formula One World Championship with its own team, beginning with the 2010 season, and Daimler AG and McLaren Group will change their form of cooperation with effect as of 13 November 2009. This was announced by Daimler AG today.

"Daimler AG together with Aabar Investments PJSC will take over 75.1% of the Brawn GP team, with Daimler taking 45.1% and Aabar 30%. The rest of the 24.9% will remain with the current stakeholders."

The move could have ramifications for the out of contract Button, with Mercedes believed to favour an all-German partnership of Nico Rosberg and Nick Hiedfeld.

Such a move could see Button link up with Hamilton at McLaren and the 29-year-old from Frome, Somerset was believed to have toured McLaren's Woking factory last week.

Brawn, who has previously baulked at meeting Button's wage demands, was thrilled with the deal after forming Brawn GP following the withdrawal of Honda from the sport.

"We are honoured to be representing such a prestigious brand as Mercedes-Benz in Formula One next year and will be working together to do our best to reward their faith in our team," said Brawn.

"Brawn GP has been through an incredible journey over the last 12 months.

"From fighting for our survival to forging a strong relationship with Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines, winning both the constructors and drivers world championships, and now accepting Daimler and Aabars offer to buy our team, which will secure its future."