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F1 Rewind : Brawn GP rises from the ashes to win

Brawn GP rose out of the ashes of Honda take an unexpected title in 2009
Brawn GP rose out of the ashes of Honda take an unexpected title in 2009
rehaan díaz
Modified 28 Dec 2018, 11:22 IST

When Jenson Button collected the points he needed at the Brazilian Grand Prix by finishing fifth, he completed one of the most satisfying feel-good stories to come out of Formula 1

Japanese marquee Honda decided to leave the sport in December 2008 and the works team folded. Honda team principal Ross Brawn was effectively out of the sport unless a buyer could quickly be found.

His belief that the team had a race-winning car for 2009 led to him having the gumption to buy out Honda. The reprisal of Tyrell name was considered before the team decided to enter the championships as Brawn GP while continuing with Honda's driver pairing of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello.

Jenson Button wins the driver
Jenson Button wins the driver's title in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Brawn GP made the most of the new regulations which included slick Bridgestone tyres, changed aerodynamics, KERS system and a cap of 8 engines per driver for the season. The cars were noticeably different but Brawn with their minimal white livery and fluorescent green highlights was immediately the most beautiful looking car.

It was the fastest too - for the first half of the year. Button won six of the first seven races to have a solid lead and held on in the second half of the season as Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari caught up with more updates leading to a flurry of unpredictable races.

Without a significant budget, the car that was meant to be Honda RA 109 became Brawn BGP 001 with Mercedes engines. Ross Brawn credits Button for his clean driving and using just a single Brawn BGP 001 during the entire season, thus making his designated chassis BGP 001-02 one of the most successful F1 chassis of all time.

Team-mate Rubens Barrichello drove the chassis BGP 001-01until his qualifying accident at the Singapore Grand Prix, after which he used BGP 001-03 to see out the rest of the races. 


Ross Brawn kept of chassis BGP 001-02 with himself, which was restored to operational condition and painted to championship winning livery of Brazil. It was displayed for the public at the 2016 Festival of Speed at Goodwood, UK-driven by ex-driver and commentator Martin Brundle.

Jenson Button took home the chassis BGP 001-01 as a condition of his contract with Brawn GP in case that he won the driver's championship, which he did in style. Brawn GP won its debut race and the constructor's championship in its debut and only season, thus being the only team to have a 100% championship success rate in F1.

Having won 8 of the 17 races, Brawn GP was sold to the team's engine supplier Mercedes-Benz and renamed as Mercedes GP for the 2010 season. English team principal Ross Brawn was anointed the honour of the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2010 for his services to motorsport.

Published 28 Dec 2018, 11:22 IST
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