• Jan 17th 2008 at 10:28AM
  • 6

click above to view more high-res pics of the Mercedes SLR McLaren Roadster

No comment. That's what the Mercedes-Benz communications office had to say in response to rumors that the company is preparing to take over McLaren, the racing team and engineering firm of which Daimler already owns 40%. The report comes from Auto Motor und Sport and suggests not only that Mercedes is considering a buy-out of McLaren, but that the deal has essentially already been hammered out.

The remaining 60% is shared by team principal Ron Dennis and his Saudi business partner Mansour Ojjeh (at 15% each) and Bahraini holding company Mumtalakat, to which Dennis and Ojjeh sold 30% last year. Daimler therefore has the largest interest in McLaren, but if it wanted to take complete control it would have to negotiate with the three other shareholders, or else take controlling interest of 55 or 70% by buying out either Dennis, Ojjeh or the Bahraini partners.

McLaren currently produces the SLR supercar for Mercedes. Although Mercedes is reportedly turning to AMG spin-off HWA for its next supercar, McLaren is meanwhile proceeding with its own P11. Of course, McLaren also fields Mercedes-powered Formula One cars. If Daimler did buy out McLaren, as has long been rumored, it would effectively become the Mercedes factory works team, much like Honda bought BAR and BMW took over Sauber.

[Source: Auto Motor und Sport via Autosport]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I still find the idea of a control freak like Ron submitting to Daimler rather unlikely.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't think the ex-Nazi's will have much of a problem controlling Ron Dennis's inflated ego.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Sorry, but Mercedes P11 just doesn't warm me like McLaren P11, and I think most of us would say McLaren (F1 team) than Mercedes (F1 team)
      • 7 Years Ago
      This begs the question: If this did happen, would Ron Dennis stick around?

      I would think MB would want to keep him there given his experience, knowledge, etc etc. Then again, management boards have been known to have stupid egos!

      I sure hope RD doesn't leave though.
      • 7 Years Ago
      As to whether Ron Dennis would stick around, or submit to Daimler control, did the possibility occur to anyone that this move is afoot BECAUSE of Ron Dennis and the ham-fisted way he and the team dealt with the spying affair and championships? Besides, his share in the team has been a minority stake compared to Daimler for years. In many ways, this may have been inevitable, but last season's affairs accelerated the process.

      I do hope, however, that a storied name like McLaren does not go the way of Cooper, Brabham, et al.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It wouldn't be the same without Ron Dennis. I've always admired him for the way he runs his team: allowing his drivers to duke it out between each other for the most part. And that's why any McLaren team since the '80s has always been high on my list of favorites. If he left, I probably wouldn't cheer for them anymore.
      I know some people hate the way he handled the spying scandal, but it's not like McLaren is the first and only team to be caught spying. It doesn't make much difference to me. All my entertainment in F1 happens on track, and on track is where McLaren drivers have always been allowed to essentially take the gloves off and duel with each other. The glory days of Senna and Prost are still fresh in my mind, and last season's Hamilton vs Alonso battle was the most thrilling battle all season. Personally, I hope he stays with the team a long time.
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