Mercedes buyout 'won't change team'
|By Edd Straw||Monday, February 28th 2011, 12:50 GMT|
No changes will be made to the way that Mercedes GP is run after Daimler AG and Aabar Investments took full control of the team, according to the German firm's motorsport boss Norbert Haug.
It was announced this morning that Mercedes and Aabar had acquired the remaining 24.9 per cent of the team, which was owned by the five shareholders involved in the original management buyout of Honda in 2009 - Ross Brawn, Nick Fry, Caroline McGrory, John Marsden and Nigel Kerr.
But Haug insists that this was a natural step and that Brawn will "absolutely" remain as team principal. Brawn admitted late last year that he is keen to scale back his involvement in Formula 1 in the long term, although he underlined that he does not plan to do so in the immediate future.
"It doesn't change a lot in practical terms, but it shows our commitment," Haug told AUTOSPORT. "This is the foundation of a long-term investment and strategy.
"We are investing in the future of F1 and that's a learning process, but there are clear limits from the resource restriction agreement and we think that we have a good baseline for the future. We think that we have very good people."
Haug added that there was always the possibility that the original management buyout stakeholders would sell up and that all parties were happy with the move.
"It was not guaranteed from the beginning, but it was an option and a plan," he said. "There were constructive discussions and everyone was in agreement that this was the right way to go.
"All of those shareholders, if you historically look back, did not plan to be the owners of an F1 team. Everyone involved agreed that it was a logical step, so we are happy about it."
Haug also insists that there are no plans to increase the team's budget, with efficiency remaining central to Mercedes' F1 plans.
"Not at all," said Haug on whether this would change the team's approach. "We have the money needed to do a good job, that's for sure."