Tim

Posts Tagged ‘Brawn Racing’

F1 2009 – Round 1 – Australia – Baby, They Were Brawn To Run!

In Formula 1, General on 02 April, 2009 at 12:07 am

Yes, okay, that’s an awful title, but it was that or “The Brawn Supremacy”, which I’ve already seen used elsewhere…

Now, I try not to be biased, and to present an even-handed account of things, but I can’t help but love the “underdog”, even if that is a bit misleading with regards to BrawnGP…

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Tuesday Update – Brawn to be Wild? F1 cars testing…

In Formula 1 on 10 March, 2009 at 11:16 pm

Well, the first two days of testing for two teams – Scuderia Toro Rosso, and BrawnGP…

Jenson Button hit the headlines on Monday at lunch, after topping the time sheets. There were immediate cries of light fuel loads and low ballast, of course, but just from the media, not from any of the opposing teams technical directors, all of whom were apparently very interested at the back end of the BGP 001…

There has been a bit of furore over rear-ends recently… Toyota and Williams both caused a stir by having diffusers that interpreted the new rules in a slightly different manner to their rivals, but which have been approved by the FIA. Adrian Newey at Red Bull has gone for a retro pull-bar rear suspension that allows for certain mechanical and aerodynamic benefits that had been dismissed by other teams as outdated, but Newey believes that the rules have changed sufficiently to warrant the benefits he believes can be gained elsewhere through the use of this suspension.

“Ah-ha!” I hear you say, “But they have a Mercedes engine supply, so surely the BrawnGP car is going to have a rear end similar to the McLaren or Force India?”

No. Actually not at all. You see, today, Ross Brawn mentioned that unlike Force India, who have a complete drivetrain from Mercedes (engine, gearbox, KERS, etc.) BrawnGP only have an engine. The gearbox is their own. That is also part of the reason that they couldn’t use Ferrari engines… They wouldn’t fit as nicely with the gearbox as the Mercedes engine did. It wasn’t that Ferrari would have a hard time supplying two teams, as Force India had just switched to Mercedes from Ferrari, so they could quite easily have continued producing the same number of engines as last year…

They don’t currently have a KERS system, despite Honda being quite far ahead in developing that area, as when Honda stopped producing engines, the KERS went with them… I wouldn’t be too surprised to hear that they adopt the Flybrid KERS system being used by Williams…

Anyway, on Monday, by the end of the day, Button had been knocked down to fourth by Heidfeld for BMW, Räikkönen for Ferrari, and Trulli for Toyota.. … but the BrawnGP car had managed 82 laps! Not bad for a prototype (this is their ONLY car at the moment – they hope to have at least two in time for Melbourne!) on it’s first real test day!

Today’s test finished with Räikkönen top the times, but Rubens Barrichello finishing off a very respectable third!

As my mate Stu just said, when I mentioned that this was the team’s first proper “Ross Brawn” car: “This isn’t just any Formula One car… This is a Marks & Spencer’s Formula One car…”

How about them for a sponsor, Ross?

Roll on Melbourne…

Official BrawnGP website: Click here

Formula 1 – Week ending Saturday 28th of February, 2009 – Brawn to Race?

In Formula 1 on 28 February, 2009 at 11:37 pm

Well, we’ve had quite a week…

News about a new team for 2010, USF1, a US-based team, whose primary sponsor appears to be US TV channel SpeedTV… Planning on “finding the American Lewis Hamilton” (which means he’ll be ready for F1 in about 15 years…) and expressing interest in the likes of AJ Allmendinger, Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti… (all of whom have said that they are flattered, but happy where they are at the moment, thank you!) and actually looking like they mean business.

The Formula One Team Formerly Known as Honda F1 Racing (or Honda GP, to give it its official company name) have apparently filed for change of ownership/name papers and are getting ready to shakedown their 2009 car next week. This last week it became apparent that there were three serious contenders for buying the team: Richard Branson, Tony Texeira (who runs A1GP) and a Management Buy Out (or “MBO”) led by Ross Brawn, Nick Fry and the remaining management (possibly even involving the drivers?). Branson swiftly announced that F1 wasn’t yet(!) environmentally-friendly enough for Virgin to get involved with.

Realistically, despite all the comments about “conflicts of interest” an MBO actually makes the most sense. Honda, the parent company, want to sell the team to someone that will look after it, and keep it going. They do not want to lose face in Japan. The current management knows the team inside-out, and would not have to perform lengthy and costly Due Diligence procedures. They would effectively become yet another “Independent” team, joining Williams and Red Bull (Force India has really become more of a McLaren customer car, as they have more or less given technical control to McLaren, getting rid of both Mike Gascoyne and Colin Kolles). Frankly, given that Honda engine (along with the Renault one) was severely underpowered in relation to the Ferrari and McLaren engines, Honda may be doing the team a favour by shutting down the engine department.

Honda are still paying all the costs until the Australian Grand Prix. This means that the car has been in development, building and testing, without any break in flow. Engines have to be procured, but it would appear that a deal with Mercedes must have gone ahead, as the car is due to hit the track (Silverstone is the most realistic rumour so far) next week.

Don’t forget either that this car has actually been in development longer than anyone else’s… Ross Brawn arrived too late to influence the 2008 car. He did a little tidying up here and there, but decided that he was better-off focusing on re-organising the structure of the team and designing the 2009 car as soon as the basic regulations had been agreed. We haven’t yet seen a Ross Brawn Honda (and it won’t be a Honda in 2009, either will it?). they need to gain sponsors (in the middle of global recession), but that appears to have been quite positive too… Ironically one sector that is flourishing well in these times is the tobacco industry… … but even though Philip Morris gets away with sponsoring the Ferrari team (via things like paying for the drivers) tobacco advertising is banned in F1.

It is a pity that we won’t see a Virgin F1 car on the grid in Melbourne, but whatever it is, don’t be surprised if it’s fast! Hopefully both Button and Barrichello will be kept on, and both will be up to scoring some points. Honda was also leading the way with KERS development, but that may have ceased with the closure on the engine unit. Either way, this year is going to be a classic. I’m hoping it goes out in HD too! Bring on “The Chain”. Dum. De-de-dum-de-de-de-de-de-dum.

[Addendum: It appears that people associated with the Ex-Honda team have filed applications for websites and company names in the name of “Brawn Racing” – whether this will be the final name remains to be seen!]