Last year's constructors' champions Brawn GP were taken over by Mercedes in the winter, although Ross Brawn remains as team principal. The all-German team will be led by the returning Michael Schumacher who, after three years out of the sport, returns to try to add to his seven titles. The pressure will be on his young teammate Nico Rosberg to prove he is worthy of a top drive as he tries to match his older compatriot.
They were the form team by season's end as their victories in the last three races of the year showed and, with better reliability, could have taken both championships in 2009. Sebastian Vettel was the revelation of last year, the German picking up four wins and taking the title fight to the penultimate race. His Australian teammate Mark Webber, despite two wins, will hope to do even better against Vettel in this campaign.
It was an unstable winter for the team, with rumours of a pull-out from the sport leading to investment company Genii Capital buying a 75 per cent stake, although the team still races under the French manufacturer's name. Robert Kubica joins the team after four years at BMW, and the Pole will desperate to be fighting for points finishes. He is partnered by the Russian driver Vitaly Petrov, who will make his Formula One debut in Bahrain. ...continued