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McLaren happy with Mercedes 'realignment' 16 Nov 2009

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/24.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, British Grand Prix, Practice Day, Silverstone, England, Friday, 19 June 2009 (L to R): Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren with Ron Dennis (GBR) McLaren Executive Chairman.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Friday, 27 March 2009 McLaren MP4/24 nose detail.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Chinese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Shanghai, China, Friday, 17 April 2009 Norbert Haug (GER) Mercedes Sporting Director.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Chinese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Shanghai, China, Friday, 17 April 2009 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/24.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 18 April 2009

McLaren say they are delighted with the changes in their relationship with engine partners and shareholders Mercedes-Benz, following Monday’s announcement that the German auto giant has purchased a controlling interest in the Brawn GP team.

As part a realigned long-term alliance, McLaren will continue to use Mercedes engines until at least 2015, and will buy back the 40 percent share of the team currently owned by Mercedes’ parent company Daimler AG in a phased purchase over the next two years. The team will continue to be known as Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and its distinctive silver-with-red livery will remain unchanged.

The new arrangement removes potential conflicts arising from McLaren’s plans to begin manufacturing its own range of high-performance production sports cars from 2011, part of the group’s long-term strategy to widen its commercial activities.

“This is a win-win situation, for both McLaren and Daimler,” said Ron Dennis, founding shareholder of the McLaren Group. “I’ve often stated that it’s my belief that, in order to survive and thrive in 21st-century Formula One, a team must become much more than merely a team.

“That being the case, in order to develop and sustain the revenue streams required to compete and win Grands Prix and world championships, companies that run Formula One teams must broaden the scope of their commercial activities.

“Nonetheless, all of our partners will of course continue to play a crucial role in our Formula One programme. For that reason, and because the engines they produce are very competitive, we’re delighted that Mercedes-Benz has committed to continue not only as an engine supplier but also as a partner of ours until 2015 - and perhaps thereafter.”

Having started in 1995, the McLaren-Mercedes partnership is already one of the longest engine-supply associations in Formula One history; 2009 was its 15th consecutive year and 2015 will be its 21st, by which time it will have become by some margin the longest such relationships since the sport began.

“I want to thank McLaren for a successful collaboration over the last decade and a half,” said Dr Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “For the benefit of both Mercedes and McLaren, we will continue our partnership cooperation in future. We will be rivals on-track but, off-track, we will cooperate with McLaren and the other teams in order to create the best possible product for spectators worldwide.”

Norbert Haug, Vice-President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, added: “We look back on 15 successful years of great collaboration with McLaren; in that time, we won four world-championship titles and finished ten times as runner-up in the drivers’ and constructors’ rankings.

“Since the first victory in the 1997 Australian Grand Prix, the modern Silver Arrows have achieved a total of 60 victories in 223 races to ensure that our brand symbol, the star, stands for the greatest successes in Formula One. We thank our partner and will continue to work with McLaren based on an excellent partnership.”