In the last 24 hours speculation has reached fever pitch that Mercedes are planning to buy out the Brawn GP team. The German carmaker currently supplies engines and gearboxes to the British team, and the story has come as a bolt from the blue for the McLaren team, in whom Mercedes have a 40% share.
Although McLaren quickly released a statement saying they would not object to Mercedes becoming more involved with another team, there only emerged a forceful ”no comment” from Stuttgart.
“Our cooperation with various Formula One teams obviously gives rise to various rumours,” said a Mercedes motorsport spokesman.
“Nevertheless, we would like to ask for your understanding that our company in principle is not in a position to comment on rumours.
“The facts are that we have long-term contracts with partner McLaren with whom we won the last F1 championship.”
The rumours would not appear to have any solid ground – Mercedes Benz have said how happy they are with the McLaren partnership, and buying another team would not necessarily make sense. Results might not come and with main competitor BMW disappearing from F1, the marque does not have a strong incentive to increase their participation.
From the Brawn side, survival was recently guaranteed with the tacit acknowledgement of a sponsorship deal for next year. There does not either appear to be an incentive to sell out to Mercedes from the Brackley camp.
However, the other Mercedes-powered team Force India have been reported to be looking for a buyer. They have enjoyed and profited from closer technical collaboration with the German marque this year. But his team’s second-place effort in Belgium may have reignited Vijay Mallya’s interest in F1 just as it appeared to be waning.