Saturday, December 25, 2010

Mercedes GP

 Mercedes GP
Mercedes-Benz logo.svg
Full nameMercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team
BaseBrackley,Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
Stuttgart, Germany
Team principal(s)Ross Brawn
CEONick Fry
2010 Formula One season
Race drivers3. Germany Michael Schumacher
4. Germany Nico Rosberg
ChassisMercedes MGP W01
EngineMercedes-Benz FO 108X
2011 Formula One season
Race drivers7. Germany Michael Schumacher
8. Germany Nico Rosberg
Test driversTBA
Formula One World Championship Career
Debut1954 French Grand Prix
Latest race2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Races competed31
Constructors' Championships0
Drivers' Championships2 (1954, 1955)
Race victories9
Pole positions8
Fastest laps9
2010 position4th (214 points)

Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, the trading name of Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Limited, is the Formula One racing team and constructor of Mercedes-Benz, which raced in the 2010 season. 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. Brawn had 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.
Former Williams driver Nico Rosberg has been joined by seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher for the team's maiden racing season. Nick Heidfeld was originally the test and reserve driver, but he left the team in August to take up a similar role at Pirelli prior to moving into a race seat for Sauber.

Early history

Mercedes in Grand Prix motor racing (1930s–1955)

Mercedes-Benz formerly competed in Grand Prix motor racing in the 1930s, when the Silver Arrows dominated alongside rivals Auto Union. Both teams were heavily funded by the Nazi regime, winning all European Grand Prix Championships after 1932, of which Rudolf Caracciola won three for Mercedes-Benz.
In 1954 Mercedes-Benz returned to what was now known as Formula One racing (a World championship having been established in 1950), using the technologically advanced Mercedes-Benz W196 which was run in both open-wheeled and streamlined forms. Juan Manuel Fangio, a previous champion (1951) transferred mid-season from Maserati to Mercedes-Benz for their debut at the French Grand Prix on 4 July 1954. The team had immediate success and recorded a 1-2 victory with Fangio and Karl Kling, as well as the fastest lap (Hans Herrmann). Fangio went on to win three more races in 1954, winning the Championship.
The success continued into the 1955 season, where the same car was used again. Mercedes again dominated the season, with Fangio taking four races, and his new team mate Stirling Moss the British Grand Prix. Fangio and Moss finished first and second in that year's championship. The disaster at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 11 June which killed Mercedes sportscar driver Pierre Levegh and over 80 spectators led to the cancellations of the French, German, Spanish and Swiss Grands Prix. The team withdrew from motor sport, including Formula One, at the end of the season.
The company made a return to the sport in 1993 by unofficially supplying the Sauber team with engines, a partnership which was made official the following year. For 1995, Mercedes switched its engine supply to the McLaren team and bought a minority shareholding in the team. McLaren won three drivers' championships and one constructors' championship between 1995 and 2009. In 2009, Mercedes began supplying additional engines to the Brawn GP and Force India teams; Brawn won both championships.

The current Mercedes 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. Mercedes' predecessor, 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. Their association with Mercedes began when the team 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.
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.
2010: Return to Formula One

Acquisition of Brawn GP
Further information: 2010 Formula One season
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. 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. 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.

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

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. 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.
On 21 December, the team confirmed that Malaysian oil supplier Petronas would join the team as title sponsor. From 2010 the team will compete under the full title of Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team. According to some reports, the arrangement is valued at €30m each year. Combined with the €50m the team receives for winning the 2009 championship as Brawn GP, Mercedes has a budget 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, with Schumacher and Rosberg in attendance. The car races in Mercedes' traditional silver colours and retains Brawn GP sponsor MIGfx and adds investment group Aabar to its roster of sponsors.


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