Daimler buys Aabar’s stake in Mercedes F1 team

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler now has full ownership of its Grand Prix team.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Daimler buys full control of Mercedes team (Reuters)

“German luxury carmaker Daimler has taken full control of the Mercedes Formula One motor racing team after buying a 40 percent stake owned by Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Aabar Investments.”

Red Bull will use new-spec alternator (Autosport)

“[Renault head of trackside operations Remi] Taffin added that the fact that Renault’s other teams had successfully used the revised newer specification of alternator last weekend meant that Red Bull should have no concerns about its reliability for Brazil.”

Dennis opens up on Hamilton (Sky)

“Although Dennis did little to stop speculation that relations with [Lewis Hamilton’s management team] XIX had however soured through the saga, wryly suggesting that ‘Simon [Fuller] only pops up when we win’, he insisted that he hopes Hamilton continues to enjoy success in his career going forward and that he personally was ‘not upset’.”

Ecclestone expects Formula One to thrive in Austin after successful inaugural Grand Prix (Daily Mail)

“The second year is always difficult. You get a big crowd for a new event, but here you can see they are behind us, which is good.”

Ferrari getting left behind (BBC)

“My focus would be on the diffuser. They could adjust the way it behaves and small alterations will change it dramatically. I’ve done that myself in the past using body filler, believe it or not.”

F1 diary: United States Grand Prix (The Telegraph)

“Red Bull is asked whether it thought of sacrificing Mark Webber in a similar manner, to move Alonso back across to the dirtier part of the track. ‘We never considered it,’ says team principal Christian Horner. ‘If everybody did it, the next thing you know Alonso might have ended up on the front row.'”

Martin Whitmarsh: “I don’t want to make it easy for him to leave this team…” (Adam Cooper)

"His second ever win was in the States obviously and I remember that very well, and we had a great time after that. We’ve had some amazing highs together. I don’t want to make it easy for him to leave this team, but at the moment let’s focus and see if we can get the win in Brazil."

2013 tyres will change aero – Pirelli (ESPN)

“We know that the changes we’ve made will have an influence on things like aerodynamics for the teams; it will deflect more, the rear tyre in particular.”

Formula One Valued at $10 Billion in Ecclestone Suit (Bloomberg)

“Formula One racing was valued at $10 billion by Bluewaters Communications Holdings LLC in a lawsuit that seeks $650 million from Bernie Ecclestone for diverting the sale of a stake in the company to a lower bidder.”


Comment of the day

With 26 Grand Prix victories from 100 starts, Sebastian Vettel is one win behind Michael Schumacher at the same point in their careers. Thoughts from @Bananarama:

Interesting to see how hard it will be for Vettel to match Schumacher’s records. Even though he has had tremendous success so far, he will likely even have to improve his race to win ratio to get ahead on wins (I just guess that he won’t do much more than 300 races) and it is hard to imagine he will always be in a team as competitive as Red Bull in the last few years (though not impossible if he always makes perfect career decisions).

His strength in qualifying might get him ahead in those statistics, though, if his cars allow it. Then again, even if he doesn’t match any of those statistics, he already is one of the more (most) successful drivers ever. Good for him (bad for those I support).

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today.

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

The only United States Grand Prix to be held at Riverside took place on this day in 1960 and was won by Stirling Moss.

Team mate Innes Ireland made it a one-two for Lotus ahead of Bruce McLaren’s Cooper. Ferrari did not enter the race.

The circuit has since been demolished and a shopping mall now stands where it used to be:

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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56 comments on “Daimler buys Aabar’s stake in Mercedes F1 team”

  1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    20th November 2012, 0:19

    taking advantage this is the first (or among the first) comment, some people were commenting yesterday a “what if”: What if Massa is asked to crash against Vettel? I think it’s not likely to happen as RB would make a big complaint which would lead to eventual disasters for this sport, it would be a major scandal for Ferrari. But what if (conspiracy theory talking) Ferrari manages to convince any other driver of the grid to do it? Of course you can say RedBull can convince one of his Toro Rossos or any other driver to crash on Alonso and finish his chances fast.

    1. It would be ‘bringing the sport into disrepute’ and I imagine at the very least that Ferrari would have any points gained from the weekend annulled as well as a hefty fine.

    2. people who think that because Ferrari broke Massa’s geabox seal, they will therefore ask Massa to crash into Vettel are being ridiculous. It will never happen, for a number of reasons (safety etc.), but mainly because unlike what they did in Austin…it’s against the rules and they will 100% get punished for it, as Massa would not get close enough to Vettel to do it without it being obvious (whilst being lapped, or coming from miles back at the start). Only one punishment would follow: exclusion from both Championships. Ferrari know this and would never be that stupid

      1. The last time a driver deliberately crashed, heads started rolling. Ferrari might be Ferrari, but if the FIA thought they had Massa endanger lives by intentionally crashing, they would not rest until those responsible were kicked out of the sport for life (and they’d do it in such a way that a civilian court could not overturn the ban).

        The notion that Ferrari will have Massa intentionally crash into Vettel is ludicrous in the extreme.

        1. Alonso involved :)

          1. Alonso might be known as “Teflonso” because of his uncanny ability to dodge controversy, but that only ever applies to him. When he was caught up in the espionage row, McLaren were the ones who got hurt. When Piquet crashed in Singapore, Renault got in trouble. If Massa were to intentionally take Vettel out, Alonso might dodge the bullet, but Ferrari would get the punishment for it.

          2. this is the most stupid thread ive ever read on here.

        2. @prisoner-monkeys You’re right. Anyway Ferrari are also fighting for second in the WCC with Macca and asking Massa to crash would be detrimental. And the circumstances would’ve been worse. I remember the Australian Grand Prix in 2000, I think, where Coulthard spun off in qualifying to bring out yellow flags and preventing Schumacher from improving his time and beating Hakkinen for pole. To do something like that in the current F1 scenario, would be blasphemous, especially considering that Ferrari no longer have the veto power w.r.t. FIA. Ferrari would risk being disqualified from the 2012 WCC standings.

          1. @chicanef1

            Coulthard spun off in qualifying to bring out yellow flags and preventing Schumacher from improving his time and beating Hakkinen for pole

            I don’t think there was anything suspicious about that crash and certainly nothing was ever proved. Nor, as far as I can recall, did anyone seriously suggest it was a deliberate crash. Did Ferrari say it was?

          2. Well that’s just ridiculous and what has Ferrari’s old veto got to do with any of this? They couldn’t veto getting punished for crying out loud!

        3. Not ludicrous in the extreme. It’s happened before.
          An proving it (if well executed) wouldn’t be trivial.

        4. @prisoner-monkeys Absolutely. Renault were punished accordingly and that punishment continues to this day for Briatore. It is an absurd suggestion. Reminds me of 2010 when people said that Petrov was deliberately holding up Alonso for Vettel’s sake, what with both teams being powered by the same engine.

    3. I think an intentional crash is out of the question, even for Ferrari? However, short-fueling Massa could be an option – if he was 20 laps or so short on fuel he should be able to get the lead, or rather be on Vettel’s pace and disrupt his race.

      1. What do you mean ? Refueling is banned

        1. I think he means that he wouldn’t refuel – simply retire the car once his fuel is out.

    4. I think it is far more likely that one of the extremely desperate torro rosso drivers would (without being order to) try to gain points with RBR management by hurting Alonso’s race.

      @matthewf1 that is actually a pretty good idea, provided Vettel gets pole. It seems legal, but could backfire if Alonso gets ahead of Vettel for what ever reason, because you want Massa to finsih ahead of Vettel too… and he cant do that if he cant finish the race.

    5. I doubt any Toro Rosso driver could be convinced to crash into Vettel: after all, that would probably mean immediate expulsion from the Red Bull Young Drivers squad and, if found to be intentional, the sport. Also, Ferrari would be severely punished by the FIA – deliberately causing a collision would result in a huge penalty for the offender (remember Grosjean was given a race ban for a non-intentional collision). I wouldn’t be surprised if Ferrari would be stripped of their points (and possibly even Alonso) for committing such an act.

      1. Well they certainly lept out of Vettel’s way fast enough in AbuDhabi! But no-one complains about race fixing there!

  2. So what does that Mercedes Daimler buyout mean for the team? One less logo on the car next season at least.

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      20th November 2012, 0:36

      probably developing the car more exhaustively, as Daimler is a sports brand which would like to have its name associated to victories

      1. “developing the car more exhaustively” nice pun Omar.

    2. It looks like the decision was made on Aabar’s side by what that article says. It shouldn’t make much of a difference, it’s not like Mercedes are short on cash.

      1. It would go along with Mercedes performance this year, a long way off what we could expect from such team … Wouldn’t be a surprise if they weren’t that happy about that, their name is not shown as they would like thus leaving and letting Mercedes (or Daimler) have full control and responsability as well as the bad image from a team of the midfield (at least in second part of the year)

    3. @calum, it seems to me that Mercedes buying up the whole team means that they have decided to get serious about winning in F1 and are prepared to put their money where their mouth is.
      Assemble top team of engineers, check.
      Get top driver, check.
      Total control of budget,check.

      1. So when is McLaren going to buy back the half of the company owned by Bahrain??

        1. When they are no longer happy with their arrangement with Mumtalakat.

      2. @hohum The article does say that the team never really needed much money from Aabar, or anyone for that matter. They relied heavily on ‘reserves’ (I’m guessing FOM payouts). So I don’t forsee any big changes unfortunately…they do need them.

    4. More pride in being “Mercedes”:D

  3. Dang and blast, seems like I missed the best race of the year. I was highly gratified to read how many F1fanatics reallised that the hard tyres allowed the drivers actually race car on car for the whole race with the added advantage of having less marbles of the racing line. We really need to lobby for less gimmicky tyres, we know Pirelli can build any tyre that’s required, my wish would be for pitstops to be optional not mandatory.

    1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
      20th November 2012, 1:20

      Hopefully whatever prevented you from watching the Austin GP was worth it…

      1. @tmcs88, thanks, man does not live on bread alone, but a little bread comes in handy.

    2. We had that in Monaco, Japan, Korea and India this year, and none of those races were at the same level as yesterday’s. I actually think much of the appeal in Austin came from the fact that the tyres were so hard to warm up, so that the tyre strategy was almost in reverse, eg. hard tyres took longer to come to life, but once they did they gave faster laptimes. I think this had as much effect on the race as extreme degradation would, because there was at least some difference in strategy present, whereas other races with long-lasting tyres had simple strategies of run the softs as long as possible, then pit for the hards and run those until the end, which had much less variation and therefore much less intrigue.

      1. You could be right but nitpicking it was mediums as option this time and this is the only track so far where the marbles were not a major problem for cars going off the line. No doubt the new slick surface was part of it, but that suggests that a hard+ tyre and a hard option would produce great racing on more abrasive and grippy circuits.

        1. Yep. H.A.M. tyres please.

          1. Haha, nice.

  4. Tweet from Leigh Diffey ‏@leighdiffey (2013 US F1 lead commentator)

    Mate of mine had lunch today in Austin & Vettel was 2 tables away. Couple beside him had no idea & asked if he would take photo of them!!

    To be fair, the same could easily be happen with, for example, Brad Keselowski.

    1. If only he’d have been wearing his race helmet! … Oh wait…

    2. Question is, was the picture he took any good? Did he even take the picture? Was he grumpy about being heldup by a couple in the restaurant? Did he complain over the radio about this?
      — Sarcasm off

  5. Key Keith, won’t there be a poll debating Ferrari’s decision to penalize Massa?

    1. Hmmm, this is a good idea. Key Keith?

    2. @sumedhvidwans @john-h No, because it was over 48 hours ago now and we’ve already had a lengthy debate on it here:

      Alonso moves forward as Massa takes penalty

      But also because this is just a continuation of a debate we’ve had in one form or another several times already this year: it’s the latest edition of the ‘Ferrari are only interested in Alonso winning the drivers’ championship’ line of discussion, already covered at length here recently:

      Why Ferrari would do better with “two roosters”

      But I expect we’ll have a poll in this subject area at some point in the future. The rehiring of Massa means there’s surely more imaginative acts of team mate sacrifice to come from Ferrari in the next 12 months.

      1. in fairness, they sacraficed him on sunday and once asked him not to get to close to alonso in korea. Other than that they havent done anything this season. unless im forgetting something?

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          20th November 2012, 14:35

          He let Alonso by in Monza

      2. It seems that Alonso has not done himself any favours by performing like Hercules in the first part of the season. Now, when his teammate has upped his game, people are criticising Alonso left, right and centre. I think there will be a few laughs on this site, if Alonso overdrives and errs at Monza in a bid to beat Vettel. He’ll possibly be labelled as a journeyman, Ferrari will be labelled as a joke and Massa will be labelled as a tragic hero who never got his due at Ferrari.

  6. Goes to show that Mercedes is very serious about F1,good to see that they are here for some good time.

  7. so Mercedes becomes serious? or make it easy to sell to other?

    1. @eggry I don’t even know whether they’ve signed the Concorde Agreement yet.

  8. Interesting Tweet from Dimi Papadopoulos: Alex Wurz and a Spanish media consultant are trying to save HRT.

    1. That’s an interesting find @prisoner-monkeys, I wish them success with it, would be interesting to see Wurz at the helm there!

      1. @bosybe – There’s also talk of Chinese money being involved in the deal. Which a) wouldn’t surprise me, and b) would probably work well with the Wurz tie-up.

        If I were buying a team, then the first thing I would do is get a former driver to run the team. That makes sense, since he would know better than I what the demands of running a team both in the short- and long-term are. This media consultant is also an interesting stakeholder; his Twitter profile describes him as “TV Rights, Broadcast and Media, Sponsorship and Management Consultant…Entertainment and Sports…enjoying life with my family and friends. Thanks God”, but doesn’t say who he works for, so I suspect he has some kind of connection to FOM. And he’s evidently very close to Wurz, because he is wishing Wurz’s wife a happy birthday and is re-Tweeting Wurz’s birthday wishes to her.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys – Good find! If this comes to something it might be very good news for HRT.

          1. Chinese money, at least in theory should mean a much more generous budget than what the team had to deal with for the past two or three years. That should help them move forward, not only save them.

          2. Wurz is a good asset and I could see him in a team manager role. And I actually think he would do a far better job than Perez-Sala or Kolles or whoever else was at the helm of HRT so far.

          3. If that particular media consultant is involved with FOM indeed, would it be that far off to think Bernie has his tail in? I mean, let’s face it, losing two of the 24 cars on the grid would not benefit Formula One, nor Bernie. I reckon he’s already thinking of bringing 26 cars on the grid starting 2014. He doesn’t want to lose one of the current teams. Plus, HRT has already attracted Chinese interest and I’m sure Bernie’s bells are ringing as a result. I’m not saying he is behind the whole deal or shadowing it, but I am saying he could be pushing for this salvation mission to happen in any way he is able to (finding investors, persuading people to front a deal etc.). I reckon, if Bernie wants HRT on the grid in 2013, they will be there.

          Anyway…good news, no matter who is involved, how or why…

        2. The Chinese money would also fit well with remarks from HRTs chinese sometimes test driver, who stated he expects to be running for the team in China next year (although that was about a week or so back).

          And its also interesting in that Wurz has some role as drive coach at Williams, as in – he has a connection to the people supplying the gearboxes (and potentially KERS).

    2. newey should show everyone how its done and purchase HRT and be elbowing it out with McLaren and Ferrari in 2 years!

  9. I’m beginning to worry that this is becoming my most common comment on this site, but in the interests of accuracy…

    Stirling Moss and Innes Ireland were not team-mates. Ireland was driving for Team Lotus, Moss for Rob Walker Racing. Moss never drove for the works Lotus squad. They were both driving Lotus 18s, so it’s true that it was a one-two for Lotus, just not Team Lotus.

    Privately entered cars mess up the victory totals of several of the small English constructors – Cooper, Lotus and March all owe their first wins to privateer entries (Cooper and Lotus to Moss and Rob Walker; March to Jackie Stewart and Ken Tyrrell).

    1. @ilanin, Seems it was a good system, letting engineer/visionaries do what they do best without the crippling costs and time demands of running a team and letting drivers with talent and the financial backing necessary to purchase and run 1 car show what they could do, all the manufacturers and drivers you mention made contributions to the sport.

  10. Regarding the COTD, what people don’t take into consideration is that we have on average 3-4 more races a year than we had in the 90s and early 2000s. This doesn’t just mean longer seasons but changes the way the numbers add up as I believe that keeping ahead of the pack during an F1 season gets exponentially harer the longer you are out front because everyone is out to get you and they have more time to catch up, more chances for things to go wrong etc. In that respect I don’t think Vettel will have the races to wins ratio that Schumacher had however he will have an advantage or disadvantage (depending on his circumstances) of getting an extra seasons worth of races relative to Schumacher for every 4-5 years he spends in the sport. It will be interesting to see how he fares in the future.

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