F1 News: Shake-Up at Mercedes GP LTD, Lotus Adds Team Principals, Testing Begins Again

What Happens When It’s Team Restructure Day (or the News of It, At Least)

12:02am EST — After a shaky start, information surfaced that Mercedes GP LTD removed and appointed new directors earlier this month, then LotusF1 announced double Deputy Team Principals, and testing begins again Wednesday in still-rainy Jerez.

Changes Occur at Mercedes GP LTD:
Nick Fry and four other directors at the former Brawn GP have left their positions as directors at the new Mercedes GP to make way for new directors from Daimler and Aabar Investments, the two companies who bought out the majority of championship-winning Brawn GP team.  According to a list of documents filed on February 5 through Companies House, which is “an Executive Agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)” of the government, wherein all companies in the UK must be registered, Fry, Gordon Blair, Nigel Kerr, Caroline McGrory, and John Marsden were all “terminated” (the legal term, it is unlikely they were actually fired as the term might suggest) as directors for the UK-based company and Mohamed Badawy Al-Husseiny, Norbert Haug, Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Dr. Thomas Weber, and David John Forbes were appointed in their stead.
This constitutes a change in the make-up of the company that owns the team, though not a surprising one, after a moment or two of reflection.  New boys have taken over the majority of the team, with the old crew having sold a majority percentage in the team to Daimler and Aabar.  It makes sense that these new investors would want their own men at the helm of the company.  This change is interesting as it truly represents the change of the team/company from plucky and tiny, former-Honda-team Brawn GP to Mercedes Grand Prix.  (follow the headline link for instructions on how to find the list of documents and further information about the change)

LotusF1 Adds Two Deputy Team Principals:
According to a press release from the team, S M Nasarudin and Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun (shareholders of the LotusF1 company) have been appointed as Deputy Team Principals.  The release said that this change is “a strengthening of its senior management team” and “give Lotus Racing’s leadership team a strong base.”  Various commentators have suggested that this is in preparation for Fernandes’ eventual step down from the team principal position, but one could easily see it as another way to increase the Malaysian presence within the UK-based team and quiet possible quite detractors (of which, I in the States have heard none) at home who complain about a Malaysian team not in Malaysia or those in the UK or Europe (of which there are many) who refuse to hear discussion of LotusF1 as a Malaysian team as its headquarters are in the UK.

Testing Begins Again in Rainy Jerez:
Teams, journalists, and residents of Spain alike have been complaining of the continuous rain in Spain.  Still, testing returns to the internet and Twitter (oh, yes, and the track, too) Wednesday.  The following is the full driver line-up for the next four days, according to Autosport:
Team: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Ferrari: Massa, Massa, Alonso, Alonso
Force India: di Resta/Liuzzi, Liuzzi, Sutil, Sutil
Lotus: Fauzy, Kovalainen, Kovalainen, Trulli
McLaren: Hamilton, Hamilton, Button, Button
Mercedes GP: Schumacher, Rosberg, Schumacher, Rosberg
Red Bull: Vettel, Vettel, Webber, Webber
Renault: Petrov, Petrov, Kubica, Kubica
Sauber: de la Rosa, de la Rosa, Kobayashi, Kobayashi
Toro Rosso: Buemi, Buemi, Alguersuari, Alguersuari
Virgin: di Grassi, di Grassi/Glock, Glock, TBA
Williams: Barrichello, Barrichello, Hulkenberg, Hulkenberg


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