Mercedes + Schumacher + Brawn together in F1


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Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher is to return to Formula One next season to drive for Mercedes.

The 40-year-old German, who retired in 2006, has agreed a three-year contract with the possibility for a further extension according to his agent Sabine Kehm and will be on the grid for the curtain-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on March 14.

Schumacher, who was unveiled at the team’s factory in Brackley, will join compatriot Nico Rosberg at the former Brawn GP team, who were taken over by Mercedes at the end of last season having won the constructors’ and drivers world championships.

“After a three-year break, I have all the energy again that I was lacking,” Schumacher told reporters via a teleconference call.

Schumacher, who won five of his world titles with Ferrari, attempted to make a comeback for the Italian team last year in place of the injured Felipe Massa, but a neck injury sustained in a motorcycle race thwarted his return…

“Over the summer it was too soon after the accident. Now everything has healed,” said Schumacher, who will have his first practice session with his new team on February 1.

I have decided to return to Formula One. Mercedes GP and I agreed on teaming up for the coming seasons. And to be honest, I’m already super excited by the prospect to be back in a F1 cockpit,” he added on his official Web site.

“I don’t want to deny at all that the idea of a German F1 team extremely tempts me. I guess every German driver would feel this way. And of course it plays a major role that I again can work together with Ross at Mercedes GP. Above all, however, my old hunger for racing is back — I realized that my old passion was returning. Suddenly I was on fire again,” he added.

Though I always seemed to be supporting someone else – like Mika Hakkinen – a certain level of insanity is required to deny that Schumi is the greatest driver of recent generations.

To see him driving for the Silver Arrows of Mercedes – back together with Ross Brawn as team principal – is an amazing opportunity. He is one of those consummate skills who just may be capable of beating everyone else in the world, the oldest driver in every race.

Silver Arrows return to Formula One

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.

“We are talking (with Button) and that’s why we cannot announce the driver line-up,” said Norbert 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.”

RTFA for all the silly season gossip. It’s the time of the year for drivers to play musical chairs. We get the added benefit of new players in terms of new teams + new money scattered here and there.

Button – Barrichello – Brawn dominate the Spanish GP – UPDATED


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Jenson Button’s superb season continued as he grabbed his fourth 2009 race win out of five at a tactical Spanish Grand Prix which Brawn GP totally dominated.

Team-mate Rubens Barrichello got past pole-sitter Button with a great start – but a strategy change benefited the Englishman, who pushed him into second.

Subtle complicity here. If a suggestion from Ross Brawn can ever be considered subtle.

Now, a day after the race, I think the details on lap times make it clear there were no team orders.

Red Bull’s Mark Webber was third ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who passed Felipe Massa’s Ferrari late on.

McLaren’s world champion Lewis Hamilton finished outside the points in ninth.

Massa ran third for much of the race, holding up Vettel’s faster Red Bull, but the Brazilian lost the place to Webber at the second pit stops thanks to clever strategy from Red Bull.

Massa then slipped down to sixth behind Vettel and Renault’s Fernando Alonso in the closing laps when the Brazilian was forced to go into fuel-saving mode when a problem at his pit stop meant not enough fuel was put into his car.

BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld and Williams’s Nico Rosberg finished seventh and eighth in the final points positions.

With a win that never looked in doubt after he had built up more than 11 seconds between his car and the rest of the field half-way through the race, Button has further stretched his lead at the top of the drivers’ championship and now sits 14 points ahead of Barrichello…

The sixth race of the season takes place on the street circuit of Monaco in two weeks’ time on 24 May.

Monaco – so difficult, so important to the history of motorsport, a feather in the cap of any driver good enough – and fortunate enough – to win there. There will be a TV breakfast party at our home. 🙂

Button, Barrichello and Brawn head the grid in Australia


Jensen Button during practice in Australia. Yup, slicks are back.
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Britain’s Jenson Button claimed pole position for Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne — leading a sweep of the front row for Formula One new boys Brawn GP. Button edged out teammate Rubens Barrichello of Brazil by three hundredths of a second to claim the fourth pole of his career…

But Saturday’s qualifying provided little cheer for reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton, who will have to start from 18th in the grid. Hamilton struggled to the 15th best time but was relegated to the very rear of the grid because the gearbox in his McLaren had to be changed.

He later gained a partial reprieve as the Toyotas of Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli were penalized for a technical infringement with the rear wings of their cars…

Like McLaren, Ferrari were also off the pace with Felipe Massa qualifying seventh best and Kimi Raikkonen in ninth, although both will move up a place after the punishment meted out to Toyota by race stewards.

It is the first time in 38 races that neither a Ferrari or McLaren is on the front row for a grand prix.

Sebastian Vettel will start from third on the grid on his debut for Red Bull, with Robert Kubica also performing superbly for BMW Sauber — the Pole joining the promising young German on the second row…

Button will be aiming for the second victory of his 154 grand prix career in a remarkable reversal of fortunes for the former Honda team whose future looked bleak when the Japanese car manufacturer pulled out of the sport late last year blaming the global economic downturn. But a management buyout led by technical guru Ross Brawn rescued the team and secured drives for Button and Barrichello.

Exciting as all hell. Even though I’m a McLaren and Hamilton fan, it’s a gas to see Ross Brawn pull off a season start like this one.