• May 13, 2009
At this past weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, the Brawn cars didn't just beat McLaren – they lapped them. With both teams running the same Mercedes engines, and reigning champion Lewis Hamilton piloting the lapped McLaren, it was clear that Brawn is simply running a better car. Anyone watching the race had to be wondering what the corporate big-wigs at Mercedes were thinking as the Brawn cars crossed the finish line a full lap ahead of the McLaren. But we can stop wondering now.

According to the latest reports, Mercedes is considering throwing more weight behind the championship-leading Brawn team. Or at least jumping on the bandwagon. The customer engine deal between the German automaker and the former Honda team doesn't include any branding on the BGP 001 chassis' livery – which remains conspicuously light on sponsorship altogether – but that could change as Mercedes is keen to cash in on the success of the team to which it's selling engines. Benz motorsport chief Norbert Haug was quick to emphasize that any rapprochement to Brawn GP doesn't reflect on its relationship with McLaren, but with that partnership constantly in jeopardy, you can't help but wonder now if Mercedes would be saying the same if McLaren was leading and Brawn was marking the back.

[Source: F1-Live | Image: Paul Crock/AFP/Getty]


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  • 37 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I should preface this comment with the fact that I'm and avid F1 fan, and a "Lew-natic" as well...

      However- This season confirms to me that driver talent has clearly taken a back seat to technical development as a means to win races. Brawn came to the table with a stellar car, and as good of a driver as Button is, it had been a long while since he was winning races.

      hmm. Or was the Honda just THAT bad?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Metar got pwned.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Just goes to show that F1 is a TEAM sport, it's not all about the driver.
        • 5 Years Ago
        imo Honda were just that bad.

        They were too busy gimping their cars in the name of 'Green'. that said, they always said they were dropping the environmentally friendly approach for 2009 and that their car would be a serious contender.

        Turns out, with a change of engine and some tweaks, it was. I do wonder how it would have fared with Honda still behind them though. Oh well, we'll never find out - I'm just glad Button/Barichello are getting some good fortune for all the crippling loyalty they had with Honda.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Do you really think I'd say who my sources are? I wouldn't post things like that unless I had real reason to believe that they are true, so I'm not going to go around saying who told me.

        Feel free to believe what the press gets told and what gets reported, but keep in mind that F1 is all about publicity. It's much better publicity for a team to say "Our engine was bad because we played by the rules and everyone else didn't" than it is to say "Our engine was bad because we tuned it wrong".

        Also remember that Adrian Newey is an aerodynamicist, not an engine designer.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I wonder what your sources are, spookthehamster, because it's nonsense.

        First off, Honda's F1 engine is just like every other - a 2.4l V8 running up to 18kRPM. The torque and power curves look just like every other F1 engine - the differences are minuscule - and saying it's tuned for peak power like the roadcars and therefore slow: Of course it is, every F1 engine (and almost every other race-engine) is built for peak power at a relatively narrow (3000RPM) band - from 15,000RPM to 18,000RPM is where these cars produce their power.
        The only difference is that the Honda engine was 20-30HP down on the others in 2008, because they actually stopped development when the freeze was instated. So if anything, your point is even more wrong because it gave a lower peak output than the others.

        In today's F1, the difference between the engines is marginal. When Adrian Newey, designer for Red Bull and Toro Rosso, had to pick which one gets the Ferrari and which one the Renault engine, he said, he failed to see a real advantage for either.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Saw that one coming a from a mile off. It was either that or get Vettel in a McLaren. Oh Well, Still think LH could have a stellar career in LeMans series or ALMS. Get away from the idiocy that is F1.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, merc have been beotchin since forever that they cant buy mclaren and rename em mercedesf1 ala BMW. They can easily buy brawn for pennies and supply customer engine to mclaren.

        McL seems to lost their edge when the old guards retired. Same story at ferrari but they seems to be managing better.

        I say buy brawn and rebadge em to Mercedes F1 team.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I dont think Brawn wants to sell at all. He has said he wishes to be the next "Williams" aka a private ran championship winning team
      • 5 Years Ago
      If I were Mercedes, I'd consider going with Brawn.

      McLaren - with Ferrari stuff in it's pockets last year and stupidly lying to race stewards this year.

      Doesn't say much for them as an F1 team.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I feel F1 races are an exception. They almost all come on at absurd hours for the US viewing public, and on a Sunday. I've got work, and other responsibilities. I know not to read anything related to F1, but usually AB waits until later in the week or the next week to discuss race results.

      • 5 Years Ago
      "At this past weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, the Brawn cars didn't just beat McLaren – they lapped them."

      Yay, thanks for spoilers guys.

      >.<

      For real. Stop it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, I just watched the qualifying last night and was going to watch the race tonight. At least they didn't totally spoil it. But, come on, 2 days after?
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's Wednesday, the race was Sunday... how long do you expect them to wait to let things like that slip? A week? Two weeks?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Come on, it's been more then three whole days. At some point, it has to stop. When would they report F1 news?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'll still watch it, don't get me wrong. It's just retarded that I can't read a story without the F1 race getting spoiled. It's reasonable to think that in two nights, someone may not have 3 hours of free time to watch the GP.
        • 5 Years Ago
        To be fair, I tend to stay away from anything F1-related until I've actually caught up.

        The radio shows only seem to spoil things on the monday, but the internet is a vast place and spoilers can appear anywhere.

        It's still a good race though, worth a watch even if you do now know that one team lapped another.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I rather like the clean look of the Brawn cars... I hope they don't gay them all up with more sponsors and crap.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Gay them up? Are you in ninth or tenth grade?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Said the guy who's username is Schlong? Seriously?
        • 5 Years Ago
        It appears it's already starting.

        The Virgin Galactic logo is fine, but Terminator Salvation?

        /rolleyes
        • 5 Years Ago
        haha, nice one ack154!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Every driver in F1 are top of the class. They did not get into F1 by chance. The teams with the best equipment win. All the drivers had to be winning in the racing before a F1 team even looked at them. The gear and crews play a larger roll in winning then the driver. The driver is more marketing IMO
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sutil is fast but makes tons of errors all the time. Same with Hamilton.

        Button has drove MAGNIFICENTLY. Almost error free. Rubens has been a bit sloppy which annoyed me. His Spanish performance was near perfect though.

        There are tons of drivers in F1 not destined to be the fastest or champions. Flat out speed is not it at all. There are so many aspects to being a driver beside being able to have a "good drive" everynow and then. They are all amazing drivers, but that does not mean they are champions. Champions get themselves INTO the winning car, not simply use the excuse "if I had the car". If you need the car go get it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's not completely true.

        For example:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_Yoong

        F1 drivers in lower-level teams are expect to bring a lot of money with them and sometimes, the driver who brings more money is chosen over a better driver.

        And I cannot agree that the driver is marketing in F1 since F1 doesn't even really market its drivers well.
        • 5 Years Ago
        +1. If Sutil had a better car, he would be on the podium regularly.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm really hoping Sutil has a good run at Monaco like last year... and that someone doesn't ram him from behind and f-up his race.

        Yes, I mean that figuratively and literally. He got totally shafted last year.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Bah, spoiler in the first few lines. I know a lot of people hate that some of us hate the spoilers, but it's hard for me to catch these races at the time they air. That leaves Sunday during the day to watch it. Usually that's some sort of yard work, or other task, but this past weekend it was driving to the parents for mother's day. So, I was looking forward to watching it this Friday or Saturday. Now I know that my boy Lewis is going to get lapped, yay.


        • 5 Years Ago
        I just watched the race last night and haven't even glanced at a car website since this weekend. I'm just now catching up on Autoblog as I waited to avoid any spoilers. I even keep my google news page with sports at the bottom of the page so I don't see anything before I'm able to watch whatever sporting event I have DVR'd. I always thought it was my responsibility to avoid spoilers, even on Netflix I don't read the reviews to avoid any accidental information leaking out (even with their supposed "spoiler alerts).

        In any case, I love seeing the teams scrambling to beat Brawn. Good to see the shoe on the other foot... and as for the one comment above about F1 drivers not being the cream of the crop, try driving an F1 car sometime and get back to me. Just watching Richard Hammond try on Top Gear was a perfect example of how impossible it is for an "average Joe":

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGUZJVY-sHo

        My hat goes off to every F1 driver out there, good car or bad. The extreme level of concentration and fitness required is utterly mind-blowing.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I understand people wanting a spoiler warning in the race results post, but seriously, the race was 2 days ago now. If you (or anyone) wants to watch things a week after the fact and not have it spoiled, don't go to car websites, or sports websites during the week. (I saw the winners posted on si.com Sunday night...with no spoiler warning!) The rest of the world can't hide the results from you forever.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Definately have to agree with koloth. It's almost guaranteed to be talked about..especially at an auto website.. if anyone was in eastern time zone sat and sun; the quali and race was at 8am so it wasnt too early in the morning. but i do agree the times are abhorrent but simply because its live and the time zone issue
      David Ederer
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope they don't call it merger of equals, M&B will get rid of anything worth keeping, make the cars ugly, they will break down every race and then they'll blame the fans for not liking the "high technology" that doesn't work.
      • 5 Years Ago
      mercedes = fair-weather fan
      • 5 Years Ago
      If Brawn is using in fact the exact same engine as the one Lewis and Mercedes is using then it comes down to chassis/aero. Honda spent the whole year making the 09 car and it has paid off in dividends. Too bad Honda pulled out of F1 as they are surely kicking themselves up their own ass.

      Brawn GP = Honda designed, Powered by Mercedes.

      • 5 Years Ago
      As long as Button wins the championship. If there was ever a more deserving driver...
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think Weber deserves it more. He always brings the fight.

        I love Rubens but he tends to make silly errors so IDK. Just "him"

        Vettel deserves it but he is young and has plenty of time to get it

        I would absolutely love to see Weber be the world champion though. His season can still turn around! The Red Bull's development seems to be keeping pace with the Brawn

        Button or Vettel are the obvious favorites. I'd rather see Rubens take it and retire or Weber manage to get it though. Still 13 races left!
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