MARCH 11, 2009

Brawn confirms partners in Brawn GP

Ross Brawn has confirmed that Brawn GP is not owned wholly by him and that there are four others involved in the team. These are chief executive Nick Fry, financial director Nigel Kerr, legal counsel Caroline McGrory and HR director John Marsden.

Brawn said that the group had decided to push ahead with the team because the only other choice was to close the team down and lay off the entire staff.

"Things can go wrong," Brawn said, "but we are optimistic and if we can capitalize on the performance of the car - and the car looks good - then I think the team has got a future. If the car was poor then we only have ourselves to blame."

Brawn said that there have been "some very black days" in the course of the recent months as the group fought to keep the team alive.

Brawn made the point that, contrary to many rumours in recent weeks, Fry stays on as CEO and "will be a vital member for the future". He also said that Fry had played an important part in pulling the deals together to keep the team alive. The team has the budget needed for 2009 but needs backing for 2010 and beyond. This year's funding is believed to come largely from Honda itself, which agreed to fund the team because the money would have been spent in any case paying for redundancies and Honda would have suffered considerable loss of face if that had happened. There will also be money coming from the Formula One group, although we have heard suggestions that Bernie Ecclestone has one or two questions about whether the team should be paid all the money owed because Honda was supposed to have a commitment to stay in F1 until the end of 2012 and has chosen not to do that. However, it would not be wise for the Formula One group to push that point too much as it needs all the teams it can get at the moment.

The current livery is not indicative of any particular backer and was chosen because it is "neutral". The team may not need sponsors this year but it will in the longer term. The team says that it is in no rush to conclude deals and wants to create a proper structure and put in place long-term plans with the right amount of funding to do the job properly.