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November 17, 2009

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Mercedes takes over Brawn GP

FORMULA One champion Brawn GP will compete next season as the official Mercedes factory team after the German carmaker announced a takeover yesterday.

Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche said that Ross Brawn would remain principal of the team while the carmaker will continue to supply long-term partners McLaren with engines until the end of 2015.

"In the changed environment of Formula One, we will face the competition on the most important motor sports stage from now on with our own Silver Arrows works team," he said yesterday.

Mercedes had been 40 percent shareholders in McLaren but that team, which won the title in 2008 with Lewis Hamilton, said in a separate statement that it had agreed to buy back the stake by 2011.

Brawn GP, which emerged from the remains of departed Honda, won the championship in its debut season with Britain's Jenson Button also securing the drivers' title.

Mercedes would not comment on who would be driving for Brawn, although Germany's Nico Rosberg looks certain to be in the lineup.

Button is out of contract and has also been talking to McLaren.

The deal gives Mercedes a majority shareholding in Brawn along with Abu Dhabi investment company Aabar, which owns 9.1 percent of Daimler. The two combined will own 75.1 percent of Brawn, with Daimler holding 45.1 percent.

"Brawn GP has been through an incredible journey over the last 12 months," said Brawn in a statement. "From fighting for our survival to forging a strong relationship with Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines, winning both the Constructors' and Drivers' World Championships, and now accepting Aabar and Daimler's offer to buy our team which will secure its future."


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