MOTORSPORT : The rebranded Mercedes Grand Prix will continue talks with Formula One world champion Jenson Button over a new deal for the 2010 season despite speculation the buy-out might mean a move towards an all-German driver line-up.
The rebranded Mercedes Grand Prix will continue talks with Formula One world champion Jenson Button over a new deal for the 2010 season despite speculation the buy-out might mean a move towards an all-German driver line-up.
The German manufacturer will buy 75.1% of Brawn GP in partnership with an Abu Dhabi investment company, with the team to be rebranded as Mercedes Grand Prix. Button remains in contract talks over a new deal and, while chief executive Nick Fry – who will remain in his role – said he and team principal Brawn would prefer Button to remain, he admitted financial constraints may prevent that.
“We have had discussions with Jenson about what we think is a sensible salary,” Fry told Radio Five Live.
“This (takeover by Mercedes) is not going to change anything in that respect. The decision at the end of the day on drivers will be made by Ross, principally, with my help.
“We’re going to continue to run the team and it will be our decision on who is going to drive the car.”
Despite Brawn GP’s success in the 2009 championship, it has been widely reported the new manufacturer have already signed a deal to make German driver Nico Rosberg their new number one, with Button tipped to join McLaren as he seeks a salary increase.
Fry also served to play down speculation Mercedes will look to employ an all-German team next season, with Nick Heidfeld and Timo Glock linked with the number two seat alongside Rosberg.
“I can confidently say that is totally incorrect – Mercedes is an international company,” he added.
“Clearly, a German driver would be nice for them but we don’t need two German drivers, that’s not the intent.”