The new Silver Arrows Formula One works team was presented in Stuttgart today and though there were no surprises, the line-up was nonetheless formidable. Take a world championship winning team (Brawn F1 2009), add to it substantial long term sponsorship from Petronas, the full weight of Mercedes Benz management, finances and engineering (with the emphasis on engine - the title engine of the last two years) and then slot in the winningest F1 driver in history, and you have a pretty impressive line-up. The most ominous aspect of it all though is that the pairing of Ross Brawn and Michael Schumacher is back together. It won two titles at Benetton, reestablished the Ferrari dynasty then Brawn created his own history last year. The car remains under a shroud of secrecy until its track debut next week.
Seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher was the star of the show, but the dream team line-up assembled was remarkably impressive. Number two driver, Nico Rosberg and team management Ross Brawn, Nick Fry and Norbert Haug were introduced to 600 guests with a presentation and press conference at the Mercedes-Benz Museum.
The only really unknown factor revealed in Stuttgart at the launch of the team was the unveiling of the new Silver Arrows livery. In actual fact, the colour scheme is silver and green livery created from the heritage of the Silver Arrows and the team’s title partner PETRONAS.
The legacy of the Silver Arrows goes back to the 1934 Eifel Race when, on the evening before the event, the white paint was sanded off the Mercedes W25 race car to get the car under the 750kg weight limits of the formula and the silver colour of the aluminium surface of the car became synonymous with the Mercedes brand.
Though Mercedes has been the engine and money behind the British McLaren marque for many years, it hasn't been a true Mercedes Benz effort, and with the purchase of Brawn F1, it now is a full factory effort.
This season, with the return of the Silver Arrows, the MGP W01 will shine in silver combined with a flow of iridescent silver shading. On the nose and on other parts of the car traces of black carbon fibre visible are visible – a reminder of the first Silver Arrow of 1934.
Quotes from the evening
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER: “Finally the 2010 Formula One season is firing up! I have to say that I am totally committed to this new challenge. This season feels like a re-start for me and I am so motivated. We have a very exciting combination at MERCEDES GP PETRONAS. We have a World Champion team in every sense of the word and I cannot wait to get into the car for the first time in Valencia. I am convinced that MERCEDES GP PETRONAS will be in a very good position to fight for the championships this season and I will definitely give it a go. Driving for Mercedes-Benz again is like the closing of a circle for me as I started my racing driver career with the three-pointed star on my helmet. This is another reason why I cannot wait for the competition to get underway.”
NICO ROSBERG: “You can really feel the successful motorsport history of Mercedes-Benz here at the Museum in Stuttgart and to be part of the new Silver Arrows team and that racing heritage makes me feel extremely proud and motivated. Since joining the team in November, I have spent a lot of time at the factory in Brackley, at Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines in Brixworth and here in Stuttgart, which has given me the opportunity to settle in and get to know everyone. I have seen how hard the team is working on the new car and I really can’t wait for the opportunity to drive it for the first time in Valencia next week. I am looking forward to working with everyone at MERCEDES GP PETRONAS and will give it my all to reward their fantastic efforts with good on-track results this season.”
ROSS BRAWN, TEAM PRINCIPAL, MERCEDES GP PETRONAS: “It is a privilege to be here at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart today for the official presentation of the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS Formula One Team. With your first look around the Museum, you realise the fantastic racing heritage of Mercedes-Benz and we hope to be able to contribute to those successes going forward. Our team have been working extremely hard throughout last year and over the winter on the development of the MGP W01 and everyone at the team is looking forward to the start of testing in Valencia next week. We have two excellent drivers in Nico and Michael, who will form one of the most exciting and one of the best partnerships on the grid, and with the support of Mercedes-Benz, Aabar and our new title partner PETRONAS plus all of our team partners, everyone is looking forward to the 2010 Formula One season with anticipation.”
NORBERT HAUG, VICE PRESIDENT MERCEDES-BENZ MOTORSPORT: “With today’s presentation of our new MERCEDES GP PETRONAS Formula One Team, a new and certainly the most important chapter of over 100 years of Mercedes-Benz motorsport history begins. The new Formula One season will offer challenges which will be bigger than ever before in over sixty years of the sport’s history.
We look forward to the cooperation with our drivers Nico Rosberg who has enormous capabilities and perspectives, and with seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher who is no less motivated than at the time when he began his professional motor racing career with Mercedes-Benz and then made his first step into such a successful Formula One career with our support. Today I also cordially welcome our new title partner PETRONAS as well as our co-investor Aabar/IPIC together with all our team partners. I warmly welcome all our colleagues from last year’s World Championship team Brawn GP headed by Ross Brawn and Nick Fry to the Mercedes family. There are challenging tasks ahead of us and we all will tackle them with power, consistency and full motivation.”