Mercedes-Benz has a long history in grand prix racing. In the inter-war period, it competed with the famous Silver Arrows. After the war, the German automaker returned briefly, only to withdraw again after just one year. It wouldn't be until decades later that they'd come back to the scene, supplying engines first to the Sauber team (later acquired by arch-rival BMW) and then to McLaren, the championship team with which Mercedes has been tied – including a part-ownership and collaboration on the SLR McLaren supercar – since 1995. McLaren and Mercedes won several world championships throughout their fourteen-year history together, but now the two companies have gone their own separate ways. McLaren is building their own supercar – the MP4-12C – and Mercedes the SLS AMG, and now the two have announced a separation on the race track as well.
Although Mercedes will continue to provide McLaren with engines, the automaker has sold its stake back to the racing team. In its place, Benz has acquired a 75% stake in the Brawn GP team – which was previously Honda's, which in turn took over from British American Racing and Tyrrell before that. In its inaugural season, Brawn won both the constructors' title and the drivers' title, and will now be rebranded as Mercedes Grand Prix for the upcoming season. Eager to demonstrate German talent, the new Mercedes team has already signed Nico Rosberg – one of the youngest and most promising talents on the grid – and is preparing to announce its second driver shortly before returning for the 2010 championship in an effort to repeat this year's success.