Mike Stevens | Nov 17, 2009

compete as Mercedes Grand Prix next season after the German company completed a buyout of the Formula 1 World Champions.

Mercedes has purchased a 75 percent stake in the team, and will take control of operation immediately. Mercedes motorsport director Norbert Haug will act as co-ordinator and Ross Brawn remains as team principal.

McLaren will retain its engine supply deal with Mercedes, which has been extended until 2015, but will sell its 40 per cent share of the outfit back to its directors over the next two years.

The team is also set to retain its silver and red livery, and the title Vodafone McLaren Mercedes despite the engine maker boasting a limited presence at Woking.

Head of Mercedes cars, Dr Dieter Zetsche said: “Mercedes will compete in the F1 world championship next year starting with its own factory team.

“This is possible by the agreed acquisition of 75.1 per cent of Brawn GP, 45.1 per cent from Daimler and 30 per cent from our partner Aabar Investments. The rest will be with the current share - Ross Brawn, Nick Fry and other members. The interests of Daimler are aligned therefore it will be a true Mercedes-Benz team.

“Ross Brawn will continue to be the team principal and thereby we are maintaining his strength. Just like the engine team at Mercedes Benz High Performance Engines, the new Mercedes Benz grand prix team will be co-ordinated by Mercedes Benz Motorsport which is as everybody knows headed by Norbert Haug.”

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Brawn said he was stunned at the events of the past 12 months, stating he is excited to have ensured the team’s long term future, alongside Mercedes parent company Daimler, and Abu Dhabi investment group Aabar.

“Both I and my fellow directors at Brawn GP are incredibly proud of our staff, drivers and everyone associated with our team and thank them for their commitment, outstanding teamwork and their focus on achieving results in sometimes difficult circumstances,” he said.

“The senior management group will remain in place to lead our team and on behalf of everyone at Brawn GP, we are honoured to be representing such a prestigious brand as Mercedes-Benz in Formula One next year and will be working together to do our best to reward their faith in our team.”

Mercedes’ return to the F1 grid as a factory squad next season marks the end of a 55-year exile from the sport.

The last driver to compete for Mercedes was the great Juan Manuel Fangio, who claimed the 1955 driver’s championship behind the wheel of the Silver Arrows.

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