Mercedes did not break the bank to secure Lewis Hamilton's services, claims its team principal Ross Brawn.
Hamilton's move from McLaren to Mercedes came amid suggestions that the Brackley-based outfit was offering him a higher retainer than his current team - as well as greater commercial freedom to find personal sponsors.
However, Brawn says that Hamilton's motivation to move teams had nothing to do with money - and was instead about finding a new challenge in his career.
"There is a competitive market for drivers and Lewis is as competitive as anyone else in that respect. But Lewis didn't come here because we offered more money - because we didn't," Brawn told Sky.
"I think, first and foremost, Lewis is a racing driver. That has to be the key to everything. If he's not successful as a racing driver, none of the other stuff can happen.
"Everybody involved here and involved with Lewis recognized that, first of all, he has to be a successful racing driver. Because if he's not a successful racing driver, nothing else can happen. That's the key thing."
Although Mercedes' current car is not as competitive as McLaren, Brawn believes that Hamilton is fired up by the prospect of being able to turn the team in to regular winners.
"I think for Lewis, the attraction was being part of that building structure - the creation of the team. Not walking into a ready formed, successful package; it was being part of the process of building that package.
"I think he felt that that was the next stage of his career."