Daimler set to pull the plug on Mercedes AMG F1 team

Daimler set to pull the plug on Mercedes AMG F1 team: A plucky F1 engineer called Ross Brawn, took a chance and bought an F1 team from Honda – allegedly for £1.

In one season, Ross Brawn delivered Jenson Button a drivers’ F1 championship and humiliated a number of other established outfits such as Ferrari and McLaren.

Brawn had taken advantage of a significant FIA car design regulation change – just like we are seeing this season – won the titles – and then next year sold the ex-Honda works team to Daimler-Benz.

Ross Brawn was retained by Mercedes as team principal and he set about building a championship winning outfit. Then Wolff and Brawn bought into the company 10% each.

Yet the arrival of newbee Toto Wolff who bought 10% of the business in 2013 led Brawn to believe he couldn’t trust the Austrian, and so the Maestro of the Ferrari/Schumacher renaissance retired from active team management pronto and the Mercedes F1 brand was left to a relative nobody in the motor racing world.

The base R&D and spend had already been laid out for the 2014 V6 Turbo Hybrid era prior to Wolff’s accession to the Mercedes throne and Brawn had unsurprisingly delivered another title winning car.

Wolff and Lauda benefitted from the 3-4 years of Brawn’s work in the result that was the 2014 championship winning Mercedes.

 

Yet behind the scenes, the seeds of failure were being sown.

Lewis Hamilton was brought in as the driver to launch Mercedes F1 success. However, the team were not ready to cope with the emotional being that was Hamilton.

Further, over $1billion was spent by Daimler to produce the best new power unit for 2014 to ensure success and dominance for their F1 team for the best part of a decade.

The Mercedes AMG F1 road show could have gone off the rails at anytime, but the addition of Nikki Lauda as a 10% owner kept the likes of Lewis happy and the key design and engineering personnel committed to the cause.

The financial plan for Daimler was always to dominate the sports pages of the global press, and in effect replace their advertising spend for their road cars with F1 success stories around the globe.

But times change.

Daimler Benz has sold down their 70% stake in the F1 team, and is looking for a complete exit for their remaining 30% over the next two seasons.

Clearly a brand dominating a sport may improve your product awareness, but also it may upset a lot of hard core sports people who then refuse long term to buy the merchandise on principle.

 

 

Dominance in F1 is a poisoned chalice.

The budget cap and loss of interest by Daimler in the F1 project have left Toto and Lewis in a quandary. They can’t spend their way out of the catastrophic design errors they made on the W13 and the future looks bleak for at least 2 seasons.

Further, the brain drain from a waning outfit to the ‘new best thing’ is occurring. Ross Brawn at the inception of the 2009 Mercedes project sold a dream to the brightest and best in F1.

Now the elite are leaving Mercedes AMG F1 and joining Ferrari and Red Bull.

Daimler have achieved their F1 ambition which was to get more eyeballs on their product via the sports pages than they were paying for in advertisement print.

Stuttgart’s exit plan is secret, but those close to the company see them selling out this year or early next year.

 

This leaves Wolff and co. exposed .

The reality behind the Wolff tenure as an F1 boss, is that he benefitted from the Brawn legacy and the Daimler cash, But when push comes to shove, he has been little more than a people manager and his time is up – as also is Lewis Hamilton’s.

 

 

 

32 responses to “Daimler set to pull the plug on Mercedes AMG F1 team

  1. Nice theory Judge. Could be true. I go along a long way but a seven year period is a bit too long for just milking out the Brawn legacy so i must give Toto some credit of the succes.

    • Then you clearly know little of F1. Mercedes are now locked in for at least two years to their current tech. Winning teams are built over a 5-6 year period and they are lost up to half a decade before they fail.
      Go read the children’s ABC of Formula 1 before you comment in future.

      • That’s a bit harsh. Steve will love it 🙂 I will give your timeframe another thought. Especially against the succes Schumacher is credited for at Ferrari. That did not take that long.

        • Steve will believe we are the same person and this is orchestrated argument with ourselves 🤣

        • Oh god. The closest racist is back again. By the way, what’s an assession to the throne? You mean ascension, right? I mean, that’s children’s ABC stuff right there. Isn’t half term over anyway?

          • Sorry Mark, I don’t know you, forgive me for the following:

            ‘Assession’ is sitting near. But neither here nor there. (trust me).

            Ascension in the context stems from ‘God Ascended to the Throne’. Ascension is also an island in the South Atlantic, famous as part of the ‘Air Bridge’ to The Falkland Islands for British Armed Forces in the 1982 War with Argentina and the wretched despot.

            I was ‘lucky’ enough to visit both bases whilst in the RAF during that War and indeed on several occasions, but happily more Ascension (sun, sea and the famous turtle assault on the beaches to lay their eggs at night. That’s why we were issued with an aircrew torch, to hide then illuminate the scene – in order NOT to disturb the ‘nursery’ when it was time to get a round in when the Officers Mess bar opened.

            Back to etymology: ‘Accession’ on the other hand means to achieve a position. Now we’ve bitten off more than was reasonable, let us pass on dessert and go directly for that lovely wedge of Stilton on the cheeseboard. Pass the port (which way did you enquire? Left dear boy, as in right is Starboard, so Port is left. Pip! Pip!

      • You’ve been drinking too much RedBull. “Winning teams are built over a 5-6 year period and they are lost up to half a decade before they fail.”

        Why the hell is Williams still in F1? Your “theory” is flawed, and you’re a stuck up prick to boot – telling respectful commenters to read children’s ABC’s of racing…I guess that’s what their doing on your little blog.

    • I’ve now read about 4 – 5 articles on this page and conclude uts nothing more than a let’s trash Hamilton and Mercedes portal. The underlying hatred of both is readily apparent and transparent. Really not journalism but opinion tainted by underlying personal prejudices. I’ll be ignoring future articles moving forward

  2. Very well written article it was really upsetting how Toto treated Ross Brawn. It was Ross Brawn who bought Lewis into Mercedes and influenced him to come and join them by leaving McLaren. Unfortunate for Michael Schumacher to retire when he did n Lewis taking his seat and then the big accident happened to Michael which left him as good as a living but dead person. Toto has robbed Ross Brawn of his legacy and his team. Ross didn’t want to leave but was forced to and he spent a year not doing anything and checking up on Michael Schumacher’s health it was catastrophic time for him but then he was made F1 President which is a blessing in disguise but I’m sure if he was given the option he would rather be the head of Mercedes F1 then to let Tota Wolf be in charge. So many misshapens in pit stops and all sorts. If Ross Brawn was the head those mistakes would be nullified he was a master strategist of pit stope and I believe a notch above Adrean Newey. I agree with the full article and respect the depth it has in it. Someone who knows what they are talking about and it shows you know F1 from way back in the 90s. It is not easy to develop a race winning formula but it is very easy to hijack someone else’s hard work and claim it your own. Toto has flopped Mercedes even though they have a reliable engine and gearbox the cars aerodynamics is a complete failure this season. If Lewis can shift to Ferrari or a competitive car for next season he could have a few good seasons before he retires. What Redbull done in the last race of last season was also absolute filth it has made me cancel all my subscriptions to F1 I wont ever pay to watch any live races ever again. The credibility of F1 and the class of it being elite racing is not no more like it used to be in the 90s/2000s and the 2010s. Similar to modern music it’s become filth the English language has become filth and not classy like it used to be due to the youth I dont think these new drivers are as talented like the old the cars are way more easier to drive and less complex the sport is not dangerous like it used to be for the older generation. People with money can enter the sport through the back door it is not a game of talented individuals like the good old days. Commercialisation of F1 will be its self destruct mode.

    • the judge upto his usual rubbish, clearly hates mercedes and hamilton’s success in the past, its pretty sad. given time mercedes team will get back to competing at the front, but its good to see ferrari back on it and mcLaren too.

      • Mercedes are a fragment of F1 history. They quit the sport in 1955 and have played at being a constructer team whilst it suited. They’ll be gone as quickley when the results don’t come – and Hammy will be left high and dry.

        And if i was trying to be anti-Lewis, I would have pointed out the humiliation of him being lapped in Imola by the current world champion

        • It’s actually been mentioned a few times but don’t worry, I’m sure Hamilton will get over it. Even if Daimler Benz leave which looks likely that doesn’t mean the end for MB and DB can’t leave immediately anyway. Hamilton has at most a couple of years left, I expect him to get himself back together over the next few races and MB to sort out the car. Everyone was writing him off last year and calling for him to retire but he came back and won in Abu Dhabi if you take Masi and his ridiculous actions out of the mix. I wouldn’t write him off just yet.

  3. This is Daimler stopping Toto’s pocket money, but will the AMG boys still be allowed to spend their money on this white elephant?

    Mercedes have been making excellent engines for almost 30 years, and Ross Brawn was probably one of the main reasons they brought in to F1. The last 8 years have been very successful for them, but like most manufacturers they’ll pull out when they feel it’s not going their way. This is the main problem with the sport.

    The budget cap is a blessing, now to sort out the exorbitant entrance fee.

  4. I think your point about Toto stealing Mercedes from Brawn and riding out the wave as a passenger could apply to an extent to Brawn GP. Ross had very little time to actually make the changes to build a championship winning car (which as you’ve said build over 2-3 years at least). He inherited a good team from Honda with a solid car and made some minor personnel and aero changes for the 2009 season. I’m not saying he did nothing, but he did get dealt a hand to win with.

      • Brawn was a great engineer and MB suffered when he left but he was a terrible team manager, MB were coasting until Toto arrived and made them eight times consecutive champions. Brawn maybe the best engineer but Toto is the best team manager ever. So both team manager and driver were the GOAT, no wonder Horner has a Hamilton sized chip on his shoulder.

  5. What the hell is an assession to the throne? You mean ascension right? That’s children’s ABC stuff right there. Spell check still proving too difficult to find?

  6. Honestly Gentlemen i don’t get why You are attacking so fiercely one another and host’s opinions. After all The Host of the blog is entitled to post whatever they want and if you don’t like it set up your own blog and shout out your ideas as much as you want. I’d like a bit more discussion culture here

  7. “The reality behind the Wolff tenure as an F1 boss, is that he benefitted from the Brawn legacy and the Daimler cash, But when push comes to shove, he has been little more than a people manager and his time is up – as also is Lewis Hamilton’s.” Pffthahahahaaahaaaaa. Drink another Red Bull, bud. Maybe leave the vodka out. Suggesting they coasted to that level of dominance for that long is a bloody riot. This is some real tongue in cheak satire for sure. This cant be a real persons opinion lol…

    • If Toto benefitted from the Brawn legacy, how come the team was nowhere until Toto became involved they then won 8 constructor championships on the trot, he did the same at Williams before. Brawn was a great engineer but Toto is the greatest team manger there has ever been and I trust him to turn this current crisis around in spite of the budget cap.

    • I agree with a lot of this article which is quite factual. Daimler Benz were only going to be part of a team that was winning and now are already distancing themselves after Mercedes poor start this year. They will survive but just another thing to worry about in their already growing list of problems.
      Ross Brawn was a great engineer but not so much a team manager, when Toto took over they were struggling which he turned around but when Brawn left that hurt Mercedes greatly and others have followed. One thing I would disagree with though, is the appointment of Hamilton being a problem due to his emotional issues. Without him they would not have won eight drivers titles and also how do you think Aston Martin find working with Vettel or Red Bull with Max, they are all prima donnas. Mercedes are bleeding badly and need to address issues with the loss of the experienced people they have lost and fixing the glaring problems with the current car. I wouldn’t want to be Toto right now.

  8. The emotional being that is Hamilton. You would never say this about a white driver. Unreal

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