Mercedes-Benz is banking that Formula 1 fans are also fans of its AMG performance division, so it will use F1 to promote the AMG brand beginning in the 2012 season.

Most noticeable is a name change for the Mercedes F1 team. Next year’s squad will be called the “Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team,” as opposed to the current “Mercedes GP Petronas Formula 1 Team.”

As Mercedes’ motorsport head Norbert Haug explains, “Our new team name fuses the proud traditions of AMG and the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows at the pinnacle of motorsport.” Haug is quick to point out that 16 of the 24 drivers on the F1 starting grid in Brazil either have, or have had, a connection to Mercedes-Benz at some point in their careers.

In addition to fielding a factory team, Mercedes provides engines and technical support to McLaren Mercedes and Force India, and is the official supplier of safety and medical cars to Formula 1.

Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 is already at work designing a car for the 2012 season. Code named the F1 W03, the car will replace the current W02 chassis and is set to make its track debut during the second winter test, scheduled for February 21 in Barcelona, Spain.