I doubt that very much. From your point of view, as an F1 fan etc, I can see where you're coming from, but from a commercial point of view it makes no sense. You would pay tens of millions for a name because it's famous? Forgive me for pointing out the obvious, and respect where it's due, but Mercedes Benz is hardly a minor player in world automobile arenas, it doesn'rt need to invest in fame. What Mercedes were doing when they hired Schumacher was paying for a winner; they bought this great driver (which he undoubtedly was) who could develop cars, inspire a team, run rings round the rest (Ross, earlier this year, said 'he's still better than 99% of the field) and who habitually wins races and titles. They didn't buy a name to put on posters, merchandise and so on as the three pointed star already carries that cache. If you were a sentimental man with a sense of recent F1 history you may well be saying 'YES!' but if you're the bean counter, with an eye on your investment and profit margins, you would be saying 'why are we paying X million for a man who was once very good but is now being shown up by a driver most reckon is never going to be anything more than pretty decent'?
At the end of the day, the exposure that Mercedes gets from its association with Schumacher is infinitely bigger than the one that BMW, Honda or Toyota got during their entire stay as manufacturer teams in F1. As did Renault with Alonso when they got him back from McLaren. Michael is instantly recognisable around the planet, helmet on or off. A pity that the MGP team is nothing but a refurbished and updated Tyrell crew, but I suppose that the bean counters in Stuttgart are, by now, well aware of that. They must also be aware that BMW went the Kubica + Heidfeld route, arguably quick drivers but media neutral characters... and they are no longer in the F1 business.
It was clear since mid season last year that the team got a very lucky break with the DDD and that they were slowly descending to their traditional rank of 4-5th fastest, from which they started this year, and obviously while the no testing rules have some cost reducing effects, they also place the hierarchy enforcement role in the hands of FIA, the only factor with a say in how some developments are allowed and how some others aren't.
Edited by valachus, 07 August 2010 - 10:10.