BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Formula One, it is said, is a sport for the two hours of racing on a Sunday afternoon and a business the rest of the time. Plenty of multimillion dollar business certainly went on last week.
Mercedes reaffirmed its long-term commitment to F-1 as it bought out the remaining 24.9 percent shares of the former Honda/Brawn team still owned by Ross Brawn and four others. Daimler now owns 60 percent of Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix while its financial partner Aabar Investments owns the other 40 percent.
“This lays the foundations for a successful long-term involvement at the pinnacle of motorsport,” said Norbert Haug, the vice president of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport.
The team, based near Silverstone, remains unchanged as Brawn remains in charge.
“I remain fully committed to our team for the long-term, along with the management team and all of our employees,” he said.
Meanwhile the Williams team earned 60 million euros ($84 million) with its initial public offering of nearly 2.5 million shares were sold at 25 euros ($35) each on the Frankfurt stock exchange.
“Our listing marks a new era in the history of the team,” said Frank Williams. “Williams’ future as an independent constructor is sustained by this listing, providing us the base from which to grow further.”
Red Bull Racing will get a major financial and technical boost with its new partnership with Renault’s sister company’s Nissan’s luxury car brand Infiniti.
The initial deal means sponsorship money for Red Bull that can be used to add performance to the car. And Infiniti will gain worldwide exposure. While not scraping the bottom of the barrel, Red Bull is still a privateer squad that does not have the cash reserves of the major teams. Plus Red Bull and Infiniti are going to create a technical collaboration.
“Nissan is a leader in electrical vehicles so, as things move in that direction, there are opportunities to work that way,” said Infiniti’s vice-president Andy Palmer.
The team’s Renault engine will not be rebadged as an Infiniti.