Ross Brawn has confirmed that his new team Brawn GP will take over from Honda and contest the 2009 F1 season.
As has been rumoured in recent weeks the team will use the same Mercedes engines as McLaren and Force India.
Ross Brawn will be team principal of his eponymous outfit and Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello have been retained as drivers.
A statement from Brawn reads:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you – our fans, our partners and our media colleagues – for your tremendous support during the past few months. It has been a challenging period but we have now achieved a very pleasing conclusion to the strenuous efforts which have been made to secure our future. We have also been left in no doubt as to the level of enthusiasm for the team and our ambitions.
Our focus now is on preparations for the first race of the 2009 calendar in Melbourne on 29 March. Over the coming weeks we will bring you the very latest news and pictures from the build-up to the Brawn GP team’s debut season plus our plans for the development of BrawnGP.com
The team are expected to begin testing at Silverstone tomorrow. Pitpass has reported a rumour suggesting Mike Gascoyne, who left Force India last year, could be brought on board as technical director.
Honda has issued the following statement:
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: “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.”
Read the full press release on Brawn GP’s official website.
More on Brawn GP
Update: Here’s a picture of the 2009 Brawn GP F1 car: Brawn GP tests its 2009 F1 car