Guest Author - Christine Blachford
It's taken a few months, and we have all been following their progress carefully, but now the speculation has come to an end. Ross Brawn has officially taken over Honda Racing, with a 100% buyout.
Now known as Brawn GP, the team have a website and an official press release has been posted on there giving details of the team and thanks to everyone involved. It was released in the early hours of Friday morning, and confirms just some of the details we already knew.
Mercedes will supply the team with engines for the 2009 season, and both Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello will return to the cars. Brawn thanks everyone at Brackley for their hard work in keeping the team alive, plus FOM, the FIA and FOTA for their continued support.
Nick Fry was present at the FOTA press conference yesterday, and gave a hint that the team had been saved and an announcement would be coming very soon. He mentioned the livery would be blue and red, although the hastily put together website for Brawn GP features black and yellow. Nick Fry doesn't seem to have been mentioned in the press release for Brawn GP so far, though, so his involvement is as yet unknown.
The only real questions left are whether the car will be able to at least keep up with the others, if not be competitive. They have missed out an awful lot of testing, but are due to shakedown the new car at Silverstone in private, before perhaps turning up in Barcelona and Jerez for the final tests.
Bringing back two very experienced drivers will help, and both Button and Barrichello will be able to wrestle the most out of the car. Brawn has also played some very smart strategy games in the past during races that have seen points hauls and even podiums. He will no doubt be continuing this practice in 2009.
Nevertheless, how competitive the team are for this first year isn't of utmost importance. They need to be visual enough to get sponsors, but winning isn't everything. Being on the grid, after we were all so worried we'd lost yet another entry, is the best start to the year a team could have.