Daimler Gets Behind Wheel of Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 Team

Daimler Gets Behind Wheel of Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 Team

Just the Facts:
  • Daimler is now sole owner of the Mercedes-AMG F1 team.
  • The move follows the decision by Abu Dhabi-based investment fund Aabar to sell its 40 percent stake in the team.
  • The team traces its heritage to Brawn GP, which won the 2009 F1 championship and was then taken over by Mercedes.

STUTTGART, Germany — Daimler AG, which partnered with Abu Dhabi investment firm Aabar Investments when it purchased Brawn GP in 2009, is now sole owner of the Formula 1 racing team.

Daimler purchased Aabar's 40 percent share of the team. Last month, Aabar relinquished a 3 percent ownership share in the German auto giant, which manufactures luxury cars under the Mercedes-Benz brand name and other vehicles worldwide.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval. No terms were disclosed and it's not clear why Aabar decided to sell its stake.

Noted racing team manager Ross Brawn put together an 11th-hour deal to become owner of the team when Honda abruptly withdrew from Formula 1 at the end of the 2008 season.

Brawn, who helped build Ferrari to a dominant level with driver Michael Schumacher, arranged for engines to be supplied by Mercedes-Benz and, with former Honda driver Jenson Button, the reinvented team proceeded to win the F1 driving and constructor championships.

In October of that year, Mercedes purchased the team from Brawn. The acquisition was a milestone for the German company, which had competed as engine supplier and with customer privateer vehicles in various racing endeavors but not as an official constructor since 1955, the year when a Mercedes sports car crashed into a crowd of spectators, killing more than 80, during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

In tandem with acquisition of the Brawn team, Mercedes dissolved the partnership it had with McLaren by selling back a 40 percent ownership share. Mercedes has continued to supply engines to McLaren and other teams.

About the time of the acquisition of the Brawn team, Button left to drive for McLaren alongside fellow Brit and F1 champ Lewis Hamilton. In an ironic twist, Hamilton — who won Sunday's U.S. Grand Prix — will leave McLaren to drive next year for Mercedes. He will replace Schumacher, who returned to racing after three years out of the sport to drive for the Mercedes team in 2010.

The final race of the 2012 Formula 1 season will take place at the historic Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo on Sunday. The Brazilian Grand Prix will also mark Michael Schumacher's 308th and final Formula 1 race.

Edmunds says: The hiring of Hamilton and separation from an outside investor suggest the company's resolve to move to the top of the F1 heap.

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