Mercedes boss defends Brawn buyout

Mercedes boss Dieter Zetsche with Norbert Haug

Nov.18 (GMM) Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche has written a letter in defence of Mercedes‘ decision to take over the Brawn team and rename it Mercedes GP.

A member of the carmaker’s Betriebsrat (supervisory board) said this week that amid the economic problems and after Honda, BMW and Toyota pulled out of formula one, Daimler should have instead invested “in better marketing of its real (road) cars”.

But in a letter to his colleagues, Zetsche said the plan with Mercedes GP is to enjoy a higher profile in F1 for “under 60 million euros” annually by 2011.

“That is approximately a quarter of our formula one budgets of earlier years,” he said in extracts of the letter published by Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.

Zetsche added: “In the future we will attain a greater attention for our brand for a clearly smaller cost.”

However, a Daily Telegraph report written by F1 finance experts Christian Sylt and Caroline Reid said Brawn’s new owners will actually have to immediately spend 50 per cent more on F1.