It's official: Honda has turned over their Formula 1 team to former Team Principal Ross Brawn. Although the terms of the transaction haven't been disclosed, Brawn picks up the whole operation in the sale. While there were suggestions the new team might be named Brackley after the team's HQ locale, it will be eponymously named Brawn GP. Considering the cars feature McLaren-Mercedes powerplants, we weren't surprised when we didn't see the word "Honda" in the name.
Along with the new name comes a new website, BrawnGP.com, where you can find a small gallery of the GP cars, drivers and Ross. The cars have already been testing in the UK at Silverstone and are expected to test in Spain as well before the season opener in Melbourne on March 29. Drivers have been confirmed as Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, assuring some continuity and experience for the new-old team. It will definitely be an interesting F1 season. Press releases from both companies are after the jump.
Honda Announces Sale of the Honda Racing F1 Team
TOKYO, Japan, March 6, 2009 – 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."
[Sources: Honda, Brawn GP]