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Ross Brawn Is A Constructor: Honda Officially Becomes Brawn GP

Ross Brawn Is A Constructor: Honda Officially Becomes Brawn GP

The headline says it all – Ross Brawn has been successful in taking over Honda’s Formula One team, saving the squad and ensuring there will be 10 teams and 20 drivers on the Melbourne grid at the end of the month. While speculation has been rife for the last three or four months, the news that the team has been saved will be welcomed the world over. Ross Brawn has released a statement that explains further and praises the efforts of those involved in the deal.

A statement was made at midnight explaining that Ross Brawn, Benetton and Ferrari’s ex technical director and more recently, Honda’s team principal, has in fact purchased the team outright and renamed the squad Brawn GP. It was also confirmed that Mercedes-Benz, current suppliers of McLaren and Force India, will provide engines to the squad for the 2009 season.

Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello will drive the cars, the Brazilian hinting as much earlier in the week. While this leaves Bruno Senna waiting the wings for another year, the team will able to focus on ensuring their own stability and car development while pairs of capable hands steer the machines throughout the season.

To coincide with the statement, the Brawn GP website went live, although at the domain brawngp.com rather than the brawnracing domains that caught the eye of the media last week. However, it is only natural for companies to purchase competing domains to ensure the brand message remains intact.

The past few months have been extremely challenging for the team but today’s announcement is the very pleasing conclusion to the strenuous efforts that have been made to secure its future. Ross Brawn.

Ross then went on to pay tribute to Honda, the staff at Brackley and also to thank various people, companies and organisations who have helped the sale process and provided support during the past few months.

Firstly, it is a great shame that having worked with Honda Motor Company for so long we can no longer continue together. I would like to thank Honda for the fantastic co-operation and support we have received throughout this process – particularly those members of the senior management who were closely involved with concluding our agreement – and for the faith they have demonstrated in myself and our team.

I would also like to take this opportunity to pay due credit to our staff at Brackley. The levels of motivation and commitment that I have witnessed at the factory deserve the highest praise.

It would be impossible to mention all of the people without whom today’s announcement may not have been possible, however I would like to express particular appreciation for the support we have received from Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, the FIA (Fédération Internationale de L’Automobile), FOM (Formula One Management), FOTA (Formula One Teams Association), BERR (the UK’s Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform), Bridgestone, our other team partners and our many fans the world over.

The journey ahead will be challenging but exciting and we know we can count on their continued enthusiasm for our team and its ambitions. Ross Brawn.

The new car will be shaken down at Silverstone in the very near future and the team are expected to be testing in Barcelona next week as well as a final short run at Jerez just prior to flying the cars out to Australia.

This is, of course, very good news and ends months of agony for fans of the team, the sport and the drivers. It will be very interesting to see exactly how competitive the team can be, having done so little testing since the Brazlilan Grand Prix last November. An interim car was tested in November, but since then no running has taken place. Honda had pretty much given up on 2008 early in the season to concentrate on the 2009 efforts, and Button was particularly hyped at the prospects of the new car.

Let’s hope the car is quick out of the box and Brawn GP can at least keep up with the progress made by other midfield squads.

Image © HondaF1.

Oliver White

10 comments

  • The colours are a bit funny – black, white and lime green. Though I suspect this is only the interim livery before an official one is announced nearer to Melbourne. The surprise is that the engines will be supplied by Mercedes, or not a surprise when looking back at what Vijay Mallya said earlier about not minding Mercedes supplying engines so as not to lose another team. Hmmm….

    And not only is Mercedes a supplier, I suspect McLaren supplied the chassis and body as well looking at the shape of the car especially the sidepods. Those sidepods are a dead giveaway.

  • And not only is Mercedes a supplier, I suspect McLaren supplied the chassis and body as well looking at the shape of the car especially the sidepods. Those sidepods are a dead giveaway.

    I’m not so sure about that. Honda have been working on this car since mid-2008 apparently, having given up on RA108 once they realised it was a dog that wasn’t even worth recovering. Plus, Brawn does say that they had worked very hard in adapting the chassis to fit the Mercedes engine (as opposed to the Honda). I believe it’s a Honda/Brawn chassis.

    Besides, Vijay Mallya would’ve said no. His approval was saught for the Mercedes engine deal, and if the chassis was involved in the Brawn deal, he would have wanted one himself for Force India.

  • Correct me if I’m wrong, but haven’t customer chassis’s been banned?

    Alia… 😀

    I think – but I’m yet to double check the rules so don’t quote me just yet – that customer chassis weren’t specifically banned. This is when Prodrive won the twelfth slot and were intending to team up with McLaren, chassis n’ all. But then Williams got in a huff and the FIA were going to ban customer chassis. Prodrive withdrew and Mateschitz put STR on the market.

    I think however, that is as far as they got. Isn’t it still the same ruling as before, but with maybe an intention somewhere (which is meaningless), which now may or may not actually be happening given the new cost-cutting measures?

    Anyway, as I say, Alia…

  • Very good news all around- I like the colors as well, but would like to see more of the black and yellow. I think the sponsors will appear closer to the season or at the first GP.

    All in all, props to Brawn and co. for pulling the deal out of the fire at nearly the last minute- best of luck to the squad in 2009 and beyond 🙂

  • Correct me if I’m wrong, but haven’t customer chassis’s been banned?

    Alia… {Ollie quoting Stephen Hill – 2 comments ago}

    Yes and no. Officially, customer cars are strictly forbidden. In practise, if there’s one tiny technical difference between the cars and a third party is formally responsible for the design, then Charlie Whiting has been treating the cars as not customer cars, even though Toro Rosso’s car is blatantly a “customer” of the Red Bull car with modifications to accommodate a different engine.

    So you can have a customer car as long as it’s slightly different to what the other teams are using and you’ve done some fancy paperwork to make the relevant third party look plausible.

  • In the case of Prodrive, their entry was back when Max Mosley claimed that customer cars would be formally permitted in 2008. But it didn’t happen, which is why Prodrive didn’t compete (at least on the surface; given how simple getting round the regulations is, I suspect something else may have been the true deal-breaker).

    There is a rumour that customer chassis may be permitted in 2010, but it’s not made it to the proposed changes section of the 2009 Regulations, so who knows what will happen?

  • Hi …I found you over on A tuscan View – from Umbria…a bit of a surprise to find BlogF1 when clicking on your name.

    I work for RBS Williams Conference Centre…in Hospitality…Waitress for conferences…….My husband works within F1. He is pleased that the Brackley team will be there at the start of the 1st GP of the season…

    I am not too struck on the name though..!

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