Team Brawn GP F1 rises from the ashes of the once-proud Honda Racing F1 team.
After months of top secret negotiations and with the gamut of parties interested in buying the former Honda Racing F1 lock, stock, and barrel, the long-rumored management buy-out was confirmed earlier today - not from the ‘usual suspect,’ chief executive Nick Fry, but from team principal Ross Brawn.
“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,” Brawn said.
Honda has been in talks with various parties interested in keeping its F1 team alive since it announced its withdrawal from Formula One racing on December 5, said Hiroshi Oshima, Honda managing officer for corporate communication and motor sports.
“We are very pleased that we could sell the team to Ross Brawn, with whom we have been partaking in the challenges of F1 competition, and are grateful for his decision. We offer our sincerest wishes for the new team which will be led by Ross,” Oshima said.
Driving for the team will be Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, two of the most experienced F1 drivers.
“The vast experience and knowledge that both drivers bring to our team will prove invaluable as we aim to get up to speed in the shortest possible time to be ready for the first race of the season in Melbourne on 29 March. In what will be their fourth season together, their experience with our team in Brackley, our systems and our engineers, will prove a real asset,” Brawn said.
Brawn GP has agreed to a partnership with Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines to supply the team with its 2.4 liter Mercedes-Benz FO108W Formula One engines – the same engine that will power both McLaren-Mercedes and Force India F1 teams for the coming season.
With less than a month to go before the 2009 season formally kicks off at the Australain GP in Melbourne, Brawn GP will focus efforts on the remaining pre-season tests in Barcelona from March 9 to 12 and Jerez from March 15 to 17.