Mercedes GP


Mercedes GP

Coordinates: 52°01′19″N 1°08′42″W / 52.021964°N 1.144899°W / 52.021964; -1.144899

Germany Mercedes
Logo Mercedes GP Petronas 2011.png
Full name Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team
Base Brackley, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom[1]
Team principal(s) Ross Brawn
CEO Nick Fry
Technical director Bob Bell
Website mercedes-gp.com
2011 Formula One season
Race drivers 7. Germany Michael Schumacher
8. Germany Nico Rosberg
Test drivers n/a
Chassis Mercedes MGP W02
Engine Mercedes-Benz
Tyres Pirelli
Fuel Petronas
Formula One World Championship Career
Debut 1954 French Grand Prix
Latest race 2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Races competed 49
Constructors'
Championships
0
Drivers'
Championships
2 (1954, 1955)
Race victories 9
Pole positions 8
Fastest laps 9
2010 position 4th (214 points)

Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team, the trading name of Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Limited, is a British-based Formula One racing team and constructor, owned by Mercedes-Benz and racing under a German licence since the 2010 season.

As Brawn, the team won the drivers' and constructors' championships in the 2009 season, their only season as a team following their buy-out of the Honda Racing F1 team.[2]

Former Williams driver Nico Rosberg was joined by seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher for the team's first racing season under Mercedes-Benz ownership, and both have retained their seats for the 2011 season. Nick Heidfeld was originally the test and reserve driver, but he left the team in August 2010 to take up a similar role at Pirelli[3][4] prior to moving into a race seat for Renault F1.

Contents

History

Origins

Tyrrell - BAR - Honda

The current team can be traced back to the long-running Tyrrell Racing team, who competed as a constructor from 1970 until 1998. Tyrrell became British American Racing in 1999 who formed a partnership with Honda, eventually becoming Honda Racing F1 Team in 2006.

Brawn

Brawn GP, was formed from the remains of the Honda Racing F1 Team after Honda's withdrawal in December 2008. The team was purchased by the team's management and re-branded as Brawn GP. The team won its first race at the 2009 Australian Grand Prix, with Jenson Button winning six of their first seven races and ultimately going on to win the 2009 World Championship while team-mate Rubens Barrichello claimed victory in Valencia and Italy. Both Button and Brawn went on to seal the Drivers' and Constructors' World Championships in the penultimate race in Brazil. It was the first time in the sport's sixty-year history that a team won both titles in its maiden season.

Mercedes Benz

The team's association with Mercedes began when Brawn opted to use the Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines FO 108W at the last minute. Mercedes had required special provisions to supply Brawn as the regulations at the time dictated that an engine supplier could only supply two teams, and Mercedes supplied engines to both McLaren and Force India.

On 16 November 2009, it was officially confirmed that Mercedes would take over the running of Brawn, with Ross Brawn continuing his duties as team principal.[2] The team will continue to use its base in Brackley, United Kingdom, which is fewer than 30 miles away from Mercedes' Formula One engine plant in Brixworth.

Nico Rosberg was announced as the team's first driver on 23 November 2009 and on 23 December 2009, seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher announced that he will be returning to Formula 1, this time with the Mercedes team.[5] Of Brawn's 2009 drivers, Jenson Button signed for McLaren, whilst Rubens Barrichello moved to the Williams team for 2010, resulting in Mercedes selecting a new driver line-up of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg. The acquisition of Brawn meant that Mercedes parted ways with McLaren. The 40% stake that Daimler (which owns Mercedes) has in McLaren since January 2000 will be sold back to the McLaren Group for a reported £500m. One reason for Mercedes parting ways with McLaren was "because of McLaren's ambitious plans to build road cars", as McLaren plan to put the McLaren MP4-12C in production by 2011. However Mercedes said it would continue to supply engines to McLaren until 2015.[6]

Nico Rosberg scored Mercedes' first podium finish as a works team since 1955 at the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix.

Mercedes-Benz debuted in Formula One in 1954, and competed with great success in the 1954 and 1955 seasons. However, after the 1955 season, Mercedes left the sport, and despite part-ownerships, and engine supplier deals in the 1990s and 2000s, it did not return as a factory team until November 2009. After a fifteen-year relationship with the McLaren team, Mercedes-Benz (through parent Daimler AG), in partnership with Aabar Investments, reached an agreement to purchase a 75.1% stake (Daimler: 45.1%; Aabar: 30%), in the Brawn GP team, pending corporate and regulatory approval.[7] Daimler and Aabar purchased the remaining 24.9% stake owned by team management in February 2011.[8]

2010 season

The team's achievements in their first season did not come close to those of Brawn the previous year, with the Mercedes battling Renault for the title of 'best of the rest' behind the leading three teams of Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull. Rosberg impressed, finishing on the podium three times, at Sepang, Shanghai and Silverstone. However, Schumacher's return proved to be a massive disappointment, as he finished the season without a single race win, podium, pole position or fastest lap for the first time since his début season in 1991, and also scoring the worst-ever finish of his F1 career at Valencia, where he finished fifteenth. Schumacher also found himself embroiled in yet more controversy in Hungary after nearly squeezing former Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello into the wall at 180 mph (290 km/h), and at the last race in Abu Dhabi he was involved in a collision with Vitantonio Liuzzi, with Liuzzi's Force India coming within inches of his head, after Rosberg overtook him which caused him to go wide on the second part of the chicane and spun. It is debatable that Rosberg collided with Schumacher, however it was purely a racing incident.

Ultimately, the team finished fourth in the Constructors' Championship, with 214 points.

2011 season

Michael Schumacher at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

In Australia, Schumacher and Rosberg both retired due to accident damage on laps 19 and 22 respectively. In Malaysia, Rosberg qualified ninth and Schumacher again failed to make Q3, qualifying eleventh. Schumacher scored Mercedes' first points of the season with a ninth place finish, whereas Rosberg had a quiet race and finished twelfth. In China, Rosberg and Schumacher showed strong form, with Rosberg finishing fifth as well as leading fourteen laps during the race, while Schumacher ended the race in eighth place. Rosberg added another fifth place in Turkey, while in Spain, Schumacher finished in sixth place, ahead of Rosberg.

After a pointless Monaco Grand Prix, Schumacher equalled his best finish for Mercedes in Canada, finishing fourth after running as high as second. In Valencia, Rosberg finished seventh, and Schumacher 17th, after contact with Vitaly Petrov. Rosberg and Schumacher both finished in the points at the following two races in Great Britain and Germany. Gearbox issues stopped Schumacher from scoring at the Hungarian Grand Prix, but Rosberg managed to finish in ninth place. At the Belgian Grand Prix, Schumacher moved from the back of the grid – after losing a wheel in qualifying – to finish fifth, while Rosberg finished sixth, having led the race in its early stages.

Sponsorship

In December 2009, the team suffered an early setback when it was discovered that a planned £80m sponsorship arrangement that had been signed by Brawn with Henkel in July was invalid.[9] Henkel claim they were unaware of the deal and have no interest in Formula One; the deal was allegedly made by a former Henkel employee on stolen company stationery for the purposes of defrauding the company. On 22 December, Henkel announced that the dispute with the team had been resolved with a mutual agreement and that legal action would not be pursued, though the team would work with the German Prosecutor's Office to clarify the matter.[10]

On 21 December, the team confirmed that Malaysian oil supplier Petronas would join the team as title sponsor.[11] From 2010 the team will compete under the full title of Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team.[12] According to some reports,[13] the arrangement is valued at €30m each year. Combined with the €50m[citation needed] the team receives for winning the 2009 championship as Brawn GP, and television revenue, Mercedes has a budget in excess of €80m without actually having dedicated anything to the budget themselves.

On 25 January 2010, the team's livery was publicly unveiled at the Mercedes museum in Stuttgart,[14] with Schumacher and Rosberg in attendance.[15] The car races in Mercedes' traditional silver colours and retains Brawn GP sponsor MIGfx and adds investment group Aabar to its roster of sponsors.

Racing record

References

  1. ^ "Disclaimer". Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix. http://www3.mercedes-gp.com/staticlayer/disclaimer_en.html. 
  2. ^ a b "Mercedes takes over Brawn". Autosport.com. 2009-11-16. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/80174. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  3. ^ "Nick Heidfeld signs for Mercedes GP Petronas". Mercedes GP (Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Limited). 2010-02-04. http://www.mercedes-gp.com/newsread.asp?mgp=j%BA%A5%99lT%7F. Retrieved 2010-02-04. 
  4. ^ Elizalde, Pablo (2010-08-17). "Heidfeld released by Mercedes GP". autosport.com. Haymarket Publications. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/85989. Retrieved 2010-08-17. 
  5. ^ "Michael Schumacher signs up for F1 return with Mercedes". BBC Sport (BBC). 2009-12-23. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8427552.stm. Retrieved 2010-10-01. 
  6. ^ Benson, Andrew (2009-11-16). "Mercedes takes over Brawn F1 team". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8362295.stm. Retrieved 2009-12-15. 
  7. ^ "Mercedes takes over Brawn F1 team". BBC News. 2009-11-16. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8362295.stm. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  8. ^ Noble, Jonathan (28 February 2011). "Daimler completes team takeover". Autosport (Haymarket Publications). http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/89666. Retrieved 28 February 2011. 
  9. ^ "Henkel says Mercedes deal is invalid". Autosport.com. 2009-12-14. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/80574. Retrieved 009-12-15. 
  10. ^ Elizalde, Pablo (2009-12-22). "Henkel settles dispute with Brawn GP". Autosport.com. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/80644. Retrieved 2009-12-22. 
  11. ^ "Mercedes GP signs long-term agreement with PETRONAS". Brawn GP. 2009-12-21. http://www.brawngp.com/readstory.asp?bgp=j%C1%AA%C0rZ%7Df. 
  12. ^ "Mercedes GP picks up Petronas". AUSmotive.com. 2009-12-21. http://www.ausmotive.com/2009/12/21/mercedes-gp-picks-up-petronas.html. 
  13. ^ Allen, James (2009-12-21). "Mercedes lands €30 million Petronas sponsorship". http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2009/12/mercedes-lands-e30-million-petronas-sponsorship/. Retrieved 2009-12-22. 
  14. ^ "Mercedes GP launches new era for Silver Arrows". AUSmotive.com. 2010-01-25. http://www.ausmotive.com/2010/01/25/mercedes-gp-launches-new-era-for-silver-arrows.html. 
  15. ^ Elizalde, Pablo (2010-01-25). "Mercedes GP unveils car colours". autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/81045. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 

External links


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