Mike Stevens | Sep 8, 2009

MERCEDES-BENZ IS POISED to increase its commitment to Formula 1 by purchasing a stake in the championship leading Brawn GP team.

The deal would see Brawn join McLaren as the company’s second factory-backed outfit, enhancing Mercedes’ F1 investment following the success of its decision to provide engines for a further two teams – Brawn and Force India - this season.

Despite the prospect of Mercedes-Benz having to divide its time between two teams next season, a McLaren spokesperson told Autosport it has no concerns over the potential arrangement.

"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," the spokesperson said.

"However, we're supportive of our partner's plans regarding 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."

Brawn was reportedly in discussions with Mercedes earlier in the season to discuss a possible escalation of its current agreement with the manufacturer as the team roared towards the World Championship.

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With the striking white cars failing to bear any signage as they recorded victory after victory, the company’s motorsport operation was keen to capitalise on the opportunity to be associated with a F1 frontrunner as McLaren struggled for performance.

Discussions of a deal later faded into oblivion after McLaren rediscovered its mojo and returned to race winning contention, rather fittingly at the German Grand Prix.

But as rival manufacturers ponder withdrawing from the sport, Mercedes is keen to seize on the chance to increase its influence during a period when the sport is undergoing a comprehensive makeover of its financial structures and arrangements.

For a company such as Mercedes, there will never be a brighter opening to double its involvement in Formula 1 and boost the manufacturer’s motorsport pedigree, a sometimes forgotten, but incredibly important feature of its history.

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