SILLY SEASON 2009/2010

Dr_Grip

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With "handle" I mean match him in terms of pace. Button would not go to McLaren if he knew that Lewis would be quicker. But he probably believes he's just as quick.
I think he will be just as quick. Hamilton is heavily overestimated. Alonso, that's someone i would not want to have as a teammate, but Hamilton, why not.

Still, with Ron Dennis having succesfully bullied Merc into selling their shares in McLaren and Brawn the new factory team, the big money will be with Brawn...
 

Sir Stiggington

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I think he will be just as quick. Hamilton is heavily overestimated. Alonso, that's someone i would not want to have as a teammate, but Hamilton, why not.
Maybe because he beat Alonso in his first season with an identical car?
 

justvisiting

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im not having a problem with either links mc.. here is it for you though:

JENSON BUTTON had a guided tour of the McLaren Formula One factory on Friday. He spent two hours with senior management and met a senior engineer. It is not every day that you see a new world champion out of contract and being ushered around a former arch-rival?s facilities.

Button and his manager, Richard Goddard, claim that finding a car capable of retaining the world drivers? championship is a higher priority than money. Often such meetings are clandestine affairs held at midnight, or at remote country house hotels or windy airfields, but McLaren?s headquarters is an impressive sales tool, and both parties clearly wanted the visit to be public.

I thought Team Button were simply giving the Brawn negotiators a hurry-up, and that McLaren were managing down the expectations of Kimi Raikkonen, but it runs deeper than that. Button has gone to ground on Brawn, and McLaren have a genuine interest in signing him, although it?s not yet done. Their 2009 driver Heikki Kovalainen is fast and likeable but can't deliver under pressure. McLaren can probably handle two world champions in the same team when it comes to resources and politics, although the experiment failed miserably with Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton in 2007. Button is a different character from Alonso.

How would two British drivers work for the sponsors? It?s not ideal but Finland is hardly the biggest of markets, and for Vodafone and others, Hamilton and Button working together would provide some strong marketing opportunities.


There is a major twist in this tale. This week it will be announced that Mercedes-Benz has sold its shareholding in McLaren and will be taking a majority stake in Brawn GP. McLaren will continue with Mercedes engines, but Brawn will become the works team, so Button has to get out his crystal ball to work out which team will give him the faster car next year. Will McLaren return to top form? Or has the tide turned, given that Brawn and Red Bull won 14 of the 17 races this year?

It?s really all about Button?s confidence. Can he take on Hamilton in the team that nurtured and helped to develop the 2008 world champion long before he drove their F1 car in anger?

Hamilton was in brilliant form during the second half of the season when McLaren sorted out the car, and he has grown in stature and maturity. I am sure he would rather have an inexperienced teammate, but I suspect that he will fancy he can handle Button or Raikkonen. He wouldn?t want Alonso or Sebastian Vettel alongside him.

Nico Rosberg will drive for Brawn next year and I strongly suspect that Button may be nervous that Rosberg will be the favoured son. He has yet to win a race but he has speed and potential. However, Button must feel that he could handle Rosberg in a team that he has helped to develop over many seasons, and where he has forged strong relationships with engineers and mechanics.

Whatever the rhetoric, I suspect money does play a part. Button is fully entitled to cash in on being world champion but I would be sure that his Brawn financial package tops ?10m next year, and not the lower numbers reported.

McLaren played a significant role in helping the Brawn management emerge from the ashes of the Honda team, only for them to begin a love affair and now marriage with McLaren?s part-owner and engine supplier. McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh assures me he has no regrets about doing so for the good of F1 in difficult times, and I take him at face value on that. However, I am sure he would love to steal Brawn?s champion to even the score a little.

For Brawn?s part, they clearly haven?t loved Button enough but it seems bizarre that after all the mutual compliments and back-slapping in these past few months, the relationship has broken down. Camp Button have been negotiating through the media, which has alienated Brawn and Mercedes, but falling back in love overnight is an F1 speciality. Cue fat cheque, fast car, smiley photographs and gushing press releases.

What would I do? As Brawn GP, I would give Button a 24-hour ultimatum to sign or leave. I would want to know where I stood. It?s a long winter, and maybe the likes of Robert Kubica will be back in the market if Renault quit the sport. Raikkonen would be on my wish-list too. As McLaren, I would try to sign Button while continuing to put together a realistic Raikkonen deal.

If I were Button, I would sign the best two-year Brawn deal I could achieve, become the new best friend of Mercedes-Benz, and then keep my options open for the future. The cash will come soon enough and he doesn?t need Hamilton with home advantage regularly beating him.
 

Ziggy Shadow-Dust

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Brawn GP are no more.

Mercedes takes over Brawn F1 team
By Andrew Benson

A Brawn car passes the Mercedes grandstand at the German Grand Prix this year
Brawn is expected to become an all-German team following the takeover

German car giant Mercedes has bought the Brawn Formula 1 team in a move that is likely to see Jenson Button join McLaren as Lewis Hamilton's team-mate.

Mercedes will buy 75% of Brawn in partnership with an Abu Dhabi investment company but will continue as McLaren's engine partner until 2015.

Brawn, who won both world titles in their debut season in 2009, will be rebranded as Mercedes Grand Prix.

Nico Rosberg will be their lead driver, with Nick Heidfeld his likely partner.

Fellow German Timo Glock, who drove for Toyota last season, is also a possibility.

The team has not yet confirmed Rosberg, who drove for Williams in 2009, but he is widely known throughout F1 to have already signed for the Mercedes team.

Mercedes motorsport vice-president Norbert Haug indicated that talks with Button were ongoing but had already revealed the team is in negotiations with Heidfeld.

ANDREW BENSON BLOG
You would not find many people in F1 who fancied Button's chances of beating Hamilton in the same car

"We are talking (with Button) and that's why we cannot announce the driver line-up," said Haug on Monday. "We have to accept that speculation takes place, but that's the name of the game."

But he added: "This will be an international team - Mercedes-Benz is a global player.

"We definitely do not want to have a pure German team. It's an international team and we want to have the best drivers in the car."

Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche, whose company owns Mercedes, echoed Haug's thoughts.

"What we would like to see is the best drivers in the two seats," he said. "We certainly would not be opposed if one of them was German but that is not a prerequisite."

Button, who won the drivers' title this year, has been trying to secure a pay-rise from his ?3.5m salary but it seems Mercedes is not interested in granting his wish.

The 29-year-old Englishman visited McLaren with manager Richard Goddard on Friday, with Button now expected to join the Woking-based team for a salary around double what Brawn were offering.

Button's decision is understood not to be solely about money - sources say he considers McLaren might have a more competitive car than Brawn in 2010.

Finn Kimi Raikkonen, who has been forced to leave Ferrari to make way for Fernando Alonso, remains an outside possibility for the seat alongside 2008 world champion Hamilton.

Despite the takeover, both Haug and Zetsche indicated that there were unlikely to be wholesale changes, with Ross Brawn remaining as team principal.

They also said Brawn would have a key role to play in deciding the driver line-up for 2010 and beyond.
Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton are likely to become McLaren team-mates
Button and Hamilton are likely to end up as McLaren team-mates

"Ross Brawn is the boss of the team and it would not be smart of us to dictate to him anything like a driver decision," said Zetsche.

Brawn and chief executive Nick Fry will retain a 24.9% shareholding in the team. The remaining 75.1% will be split between Mercedes, which will own 45.1% and Abu Dhabi company Aabar Investments, which will own 30%.

Brawn said: "Brawn GP has been through an incredible journey over the last 12 months.

"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 Daimler and Aabar's offer to buy our team, which will secure its future."

As part of a deal that will see the McLaren Group buy back Mercedes's 40% shareholding by 2011, the German company will continue to supply free engines and sponsorship to the team for at least the next six years.

It's a win-win situation, both for McLaren and Daimler

Ron Dennis
McLaren boss

The team's official name will remain Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.

McLaren chairman Ron Dennis described the deal as "a win-win situation, both for McLaren and Daimler".

McLaren and Mercedes said one of the reasons for them to split was because of McLaren's road-car building ambitions.

McLaren is launching a high-performance sports car called the MP4-12C in 2011.

Jordan assesses Mercedes takeover

Dennis said: "I've often stated that it's my belief that, in order to survive and thrive in 21st Century Formula 1, a team must become much more than merely a team.

"That being the case, in order to develop and sustain the revenue streams required to compete and win grands prix and world championships, companies that run Formula 1 teams must broaden the scope of their commercial activities.

"In the MP4-12C, which will be introduced to market in 2011, we have a car that has inherited the genes of the iconic McLaren F1 of 1994 and has already been the subject of much global media acclaim."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8362295.stm

So Brawn GP have left the series undefeated then.
 

xkatieloux

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I know you guys were discussing it earlier over on the 2010 thread, but I thought the rumour that Button is about to sign a 3-year deal with McLaren was worth posting here - http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2009/nov/16/jenson-button-joins-mclaren-contract.

James Allen commented on it this evening as well - according to him Alan Henry, who wrote The Guardian article about the deal, is very much in-the-know when it comes to all things McLaren. Personally I still don't know what to believe anymore, too many conflicting stories (German press seems to think it'll def. be Button/Rosberg at Mercedes), but I guess at this stage anything is possible!
 

justvisiting

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So many sources, it sounds like it will be true. I don't know about 3 years though. Maybe 2 with an option of either a buyout or an additional year.

like someone said earlier most of the rumors are grounded this year.

makes me sad for kimi. except he still holds the highest paid F1 driver step next year, without racing!!
 

GaryC

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I'll really look down at him if he just takes the money and doesn't race. That's not what a racer does. I understand that given the situation and his demanding pay, it's hard for him to get a team that he wants. But if he doesn't race so he can get the money, it's pretty lame.
 

piercey

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I'll really look down at him if he just takes the money and doesn't race. That's not what a racer does. I understand that given the situation and his demanding pay, it's hard for him to get a team that he wants. But if he doesn't race so he can get the money, it's pretty lame.
I cannot see Kimi not racing period. If he isn't in F1, I wouldn't be surprised to hear about a new WRC Fiat (I wish Lancia) team. He'll be racing, it's just a matter of where. Also, it was sounding like McLaren was hesitant to let him do some WRC driving, so the decision not to race for them makes more sense somewhat.

Two new things for tonight: one Franck Montagny = Renault?
http://en.f1-live.com/f1/en/headlines/news/detail/091116095950.shtml

Second: Jenson Button to McLaren according to The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2009/nov/16/jenson-button-joins-mclaren-contract

Nothing is signed so I won't add it to the list. Also, although I can't find the article, Lotus won't announce their first driver until they sign the second driver. Supposedly the second driver signing is imminent.
 

Kiskaloo

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I cannot see Kimi not racing period. If he isn't in F1, I wouldn't be surprised to hear about a new WRC Fiat (I wish Lancia) team. He'll be racing, it's just a matter of where. Also, it was sounding like McLaren was hesitant to let him do some WRC driving, so the decision not to race for them makes more sense somewhat.
From what I have heard, Kimi wanted to limit his Sponsor Commitments to a handful and to be allowed to race in rally (don't know if it's WRC or a lower formula) during non-F1 weekends.
 

nicjasno

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What are the chances of Kimi going to Mercedes to partner Rossberg? Merc would surely be interested.
 

Dr_Grip

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Alan Henry, who wrote The Guardian article about the deal, is very much in-the-know when it comes to all things McLaren. Personally I still don't know what to believe anymore, too many conflicting stories (German press seems to think it'll def. be Button/Rosberg at Mercedes), but I guess at this stage anything is possible!
So many sources, it sounds like it will be true.
I'm with Katie Lou here: The german motoring press (who have good contacts to Merc and were the first to get the McMerc split right) still treat Button/Rosberg at Brawncedes as a given just as the british press does his signing to McLaren... to me it looks like Button's in talks with both parties and both are sure to close a deal, but none has - and only one can.
 

xkatieloux

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Autosport has a report on the Button/McLaren story now, and they seem to be confirming it with their own sources:

A report in The Guardian on Tuesday said that following a visit to the team's Woking base last week, further negotiations have taken place.

Sources have confirmed to AUTOSPORT that while no deal has yet been signed, Button is likely to commit to the team within the next few days.
Wow, it could actually be happening!


Glock to Manor isn't any huge surprise, just the announcement is a bit out of the blue because there wasn't any build up to it like the Merc deal or the Lotus one! Only thing is I suspect it means that Renault may be in deep shit...bad news for Kubica.
 
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