Nov 16, 2009

Welcome Mercedes Grand Prix

McLaren and Mercedes made a bunch of announcements this morning about their long-term relationship in Formula One.

The “realigned long-term strategic alliance” essentially paved the way for a takeover of the Brawn outfit by Mercedes, which needed to dump its 40 per cent stake in McLaren for the deal to go through.

Mercedes also announced it has bought a 75.1 per cent stake in Brawn and will rename the outfit Mercedes Grand Prix. It will begin competing in 2010.

The agreement with McLaren covers the next six F1 seasons with a possibility of an extension beyond 2015.

The key points in the deal are that McLaren will keep Mercedes-Benz engines until 2015, bringing the partnership between the two to 21 years. The team will continue to be known as Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, its distinctive silver-with-red livery will remain unchanged.

McLaren Group will purchase Daimler AG’s 40 per cent shareholding in a deal to be completed by 2011. The result will be a fully independent stand-alone corporate entity in F1.

In addition, McLaren Automotive, which manufactures high-performance production sports cars, will be spun out of the McLaren Group and focus on F1. It will continue as the parent company of McLaren Racing, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, McLaren Marketing, McLaren Electronic Systems, McLaren Applied Technologies and McLaren Electronics Inc (USA).

“This is a win-win situation, for both McLaren and Daimler,” said Ron Dennis, McLaren Automotive executive chairman and founding shareholder, of the McLaren Group, in a release.

“The next few years will be a very exciting time for McLaren, during which period we intend to become an ever-stronger technological and economic force. F1 will always be a core activity, for sound business reasons as well as for historical sporting reasons.”

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