Guest Author - Christine Blachford
When Michael Schumacher announced his decision to quit the sport at the end of 2006, it wasn't too much of a surprise that Ross Brawn went with him. Although still contracted with Ferrari, Ross took a year off. The official line was that other members of the Ferrari technical department would then be given room to advance their careers, but in reality, it appeared to be for Brawn to decide his next move.
The majority of his Formula 1career to date has been with Michael Schumacher. He helped the Bennetton team win back to back championships with the German, and the pair then moved on to reign supreme in the Ferrari.
With Michael's retirement, Brawn was undoubtedly left with a difficult decision to make – whether to continue in the sport or retire at the top of his game.
This week it was announced that the decision has been made and Brawn will be joining Honda at the end of November. Rumours had been circulating for a few months, after it was revealed that Nick Fry of Honda had been in contact with Ross. Of course, at the time, all parties denied any truth in the matter, but now it appears the rumours were right.
Brawn himself is looking forward to the challenge. His greatest achievements at Bennetton and Ferrari have been in turning the teams around in terms of organisation and winning strategies. His partnership with Michael showed he has a brilliant strategical mind and adapts well to any problems within the race.
It sounds like just the kind of thing Honda need. 2007 has been one of their worst seasons since joining Formula 1. Rubens Barrichello suffered achieving no points through the entire season, for the first time in his 15 years of racing. Jenson Button announced his dissatisfaction with the team this weekend, giving an interview with a British newspaper that condemned the 2007 car and issued an ultimatum to his employers. Either the car gets better, or he's gone.
It's definitely a team that Brawn can get his teeth into and try and turn their fortunes around. He says he made the decision to leave Ferrari because he had achieved all he could with them and wanted to start again with another team.
I think it will be an interesting season for the team, hopefully one that will prove significantly more successful than this year. They seem to have needed some direction just recently, and Brawn will no doubt point out the way forward.