Posted by: wrcnf1 | March 7, 2009

Honda F1 is now Brawn GP

Brawn GP car

Brawn GP car

After weeks of speculation about the future of the Honda F1 team it was finally announced last night (Thursday March 5th) that the management buyout would take place. Contrary to previous speculation, Ross Brawn takes over the role as team principal and it is not yet clear what role Nick Fry will play in this venture. The team also confirmed that it would be using Mercedes engines and it would retain the services of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello.

It’s great that the management buyout was able to go through not only to save the team, but also the jobs of so many employees who must have been in a very awkward position not knowing whether they were racing or not for the past few weeks. I think the management of the team should be commended for being able to keep the team ticking over while trying to buy the team. It was also reported that they were preparing for the final Jerez test more than a week ago as it would be their final chance to test the car if they buyout was successful.

While I am excited that the team has been saved, my biggest fear is that it may be too late for them to be as competitive as they may have been hoping to be at the end of the 2008 season. Considering how long the Honda F1 team was thought to have abandoned the 2008 car, alot of work must have gone into it to make sure that Honda had a better 2009 season. It is possible that the car could have been destined to be a slouch from the time it left the design stage, the late buyout of the team does not help the situation.

Brawn GP is now faced with the task of getting their car ready for this season with only one test session remaining while others have a huge headstart. One major issue I envisage is that they are going to be some compromises to the design of the car because it will now have a Mercedes engine fitted to a modified Honda chassis. The changes will affect vehicle performance and the team will have an uphill battle to get the car setup. At the very least I don’t expect the car to perform very well in Australia with only 22 days left although I hope that I am wrong.

One thing Brawn GP has going for it is that Ross Brawn certainly knows what it takes to be competitive and how a team should function to win championships. I imagine he would have started this process during the last season and although this will most likely be his toughest challenge in his F1 career I believe that given the finances and a bit of luck the team can be competitive this season.

To learn more about the team you can visit http://www.brawngp.com/. What do you think about the chances of the Brawn GP team? Leave a comment below.

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