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Mercedes to buy into Brawn?

NEWS STORY
07/09/2009

Hot on the heals of claims that Brawn has secured ample funding for the next three seasons comes a newspaper report that Mercedes-Benz is to buy into the Brackley outfit.

According to the Daily Telegraph; "the German manufacturer, which already owns a 40 per cent stake in McLaren, is believed to have considered dropping its association with Lewis Hamilton's team in favour of a full buy-out of Brawn earlier this year".

Unfortunately, those asked their opinion of such a deal are unable, or unwilling, to shed any light on the situation.

"It's our policy not to comment on rumours," a Mercedes source told the British newspaper, "and we want to point out that we have longstanding contracts with McLaren."

While Brawn chief executive Nick Fry claims that he is "not aware" of such a deal. "We have not heard anything about Mercedes being unhappy where they are and we very much hope that they stay involved (with McLaren)," he adds.

Contacted by Pitpass, A McLaren spokesman said: "Mercedes-Benz's engine supply contract with McLaren is a very long-standing one - it's in its 15th consecutive year, in fact - and it will continue to run for many years to come.

"However, we're supportive of our partner's plans re engine supply of other teams in Formula 1, and we were delighted earlier this year that a Mercedes-Benz engine supply deal was able to be done with Brawn, thereby saving that team from likely extinction.

"Force India, too, has blossomed as a result of its engine supply / engineering consultancy collaboration with Mercedes-Benz and McLaren - as Giancarlo Fisichella's impressive second place in the recent Belgian Grand Prix showed all too clearly.

"Both McLaren and Mercedes-Benz remain extremely satisfied with our Formula 1 collaboration, which has netted three drivers' world championships and one constructors' world championship as well as dozens of grand prix victories.

"As ever, we'll be aiming to add to that win tally together at this weekend's Italian Grand Prix - although we never under-estimate our opposition and the competition will undoubtedly be tough."

According to Pitpass' own sources, such a deal has been discussed at Mercedes at board level as the company seeks to increase its F1 footprint.

Already supplying three teams, and close to be adding a fourth (Red Bull), the German manufacturers sees F1 as an opportunity to use the recession to its advantage especially at a time when Honda and (bitter rival) BMW have cried off. Furthermore, other than its involvement as an engine supplier it should not be forgotten that Mercedes also supplies the official medical and safety cars at events.

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