The newest team in Formula One will be called Brawn GP. As expected, Ross Brawn has taken over the Honda Racing F1 Team, which announced its withdrawal from Formula One last December. Official statements from both Honda and Brawn GP confirming today’s news can be read after the jump.
The announcement from Brawn GP also confirms that former Honda drivers Jenson Button and Rubens Barichello will retain their seats in the salvaged team.
“I am delighted that Jenson Button and Rubens Barichello will form our race driver line-up for the 2009 season. 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,” said Brawn.
The team will continue to operate from the Brackley base used by Honda. Brawn GP will run Mercedes-Benz FO108W customer engines. The first car, labelled BGP001 is understood to be a modified Honda RA109 chassis.
Brawn GP must now begin to cram as much testing in as possible before the opening race in Melbourne at the end of this month. The team will have just two testing periods—Barcelona (9-12 March) and Jerez (15-17 March)—before lining up on the grid at the Australian Grand Prix on 29 March.
For more on Brawn GP, check out their official website, which is expected to be updated regularly over the coming days.
UPDATE: Image added above showing Jenson Button rolling out BGP001 at Silverstone on Friday.
Honda Announces Sale of the Honda Racing F1 Team
TOKYO, Japan, March 6, 2009 – Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has announced the sale of the Honda Racing F1 Team (HRF1) to Ross Brawn, the former Team Principal of Honda Racing F1 Team.
The entire shares of the HRF1, held by Honda GP Holdings Ltd., the UK-based holding company for HRF1 that managed all operations of Honda’s Formula One racing, were sold to Ross Brawn. As a result of this sale, the team ownership has transferred to Mr. Brawn, who plans to have the new team compete for this year’s FIA Formula One World Championship.
Hiroshi Oshima, Managing Officer of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. responsible for Corporate Communications and Motor Sports said: “Since announcing our withdrawal from Formula One racing on December 5 of last year, we have conducted various studies and discussions so that the team can continue its activities as a new team. 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.”