The pursue of Ross Brawn by Nick Fry has been talked about for months but the news still comes as a bit of a surprise. The Telegraph reports that former Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn will be unveiled as Honda’s new team principal later today. Nick Fry will continue as chief executive.
Talks with Ferrari about his return after a sabbatical year apparently broke down in October. Brawn made no secret of his desire to become a team principal, but with Jean Todt not planning to leave anytime soon he had to look elsewhere. The downfall of his former colleague Nigel Stepney may also have played some part… Looks like Fry jumped in the moment Brawn’s talks with Ferrari ended and he became available. Fry and Brawn reportedly travelled to Japan for talks with Honda and finally signed the deal last week.
Only yesterday Jenson Button issued a warning to the team he would start looking elsewhere after 2008 season if things do not improve.
“The car was a complete dog and I’m just not interested in racing like this any more. I remember after Hungary this year wanting to hit something. I’d won that same race 12 months previously and now I was there sitting in something which was undriveable.
I have to start winning and if I don’t then I have to be ruthless. There’s an option in my contract which means we can all sit down and discuss the future at the end of the season.
“If things don’t work out, that’s exactly what I’ll be doing. I’m not saying I expect to win the world title, but I do expect a dramatic improvement.”
The appointment of Ross Brawn may not bring immediate results but it is definitelly a sign that Honda means business. Brawn spent 10 years at Ferrari, during whih the team won six consecutive constructors’ championships and five drivers’ titles.
This have now been confirmed by Honda and Ross Brawn:
“I am very excited to be joining the Honda Racing F1 Team. Honda has a proud heritage in Formula One and the opportunity to help the team to realise its potential represents a fantastic new challenge for me in the sport.
The team has already done a great job of giving due consideration to its future and has spent a good deal of time putting in place both people and first class engineering resources to achieve its ambitions. I look forward to working alongside what I know to be some very talented people and helping Honda to rediscover its winning ways.”
“One of my main tasks over the past six months has been to attract new talent to the Honda Racing F1 Team and we have made a number of key appointments in the areas of aerodynamics, design, engineering, marketing and on the racing team. Today’s announcement that Ross Brawn is to join our team is a very satisfying conclusion to the process of refreshing and revitalising a strong and determined team. Ross obviously needs no introduction. His experience of winning world championships in Formula One will be crucial as we seek to put Honda back into championship contention and I am delighted that we will be working together to achieve that.”
Brawn will start work with Honda on 26 November.