• Mar 12, 2009

Click above for gallery of Brawn GP testing at Catalunya

Normally an off-season Formula One test session wouldn't be worth reporting to anyone but the most hard-core racing fans, but the motorsport press was shocked to see which team has emerged at the front of the pack at this week's official session at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. Only a couple of weeks after announcing their new ownership and return to the grid for this season, it was Brawn GP that embarrassed the heavy-hitters and lead the field, running with a plain livery while strategizing sponsorship deals and posting lap times a full second ahead of Ferrari, the next fastest team in testing.

While some postulated that Jenson Button's lap times were nothing more than a publicity stunt, running on a reduced fuel load to lap faster and garner attention, analysts note that the team was up at the front the whole way through their full Grand Prix weekend simulation. Even Fernando Alonso says the former Honda team's performance is for real, while Ross Brawn, the mastermind technical director turned team owner, credits the team's performance to the priority placed on developing the new car last year under the Honda banner.

Meanwhile, returning champions McLaren-Mercedes, which is supplying Brawn's engines in exchange for Honda's severance cash, languished at the back of the field, while Toyota, which is tipped to follow Honda out of the sport if they don't win their first race this year, ran at the front with Ferrari and BMW. With new regulations in place, we knew things would get shaken up, but Brawn GP was probably the last team we expected to seize the reins. Click below to view a new image gallery, and follow the jump for video footage.



[Source: F1-Live]




I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I know its only testing but this story gives me a warn-and-fuzzy feeling inside :D go fellas
      • 5 Years Ago
      Keep an eye on them but nothing is real until the final practice at Australia. I'm not adding them into my Fantasy F1 team until I get more info. They need advertising dollars and nothing raises money like increased expectations and fast lap times are easy to come by when you don't have to go through technical inspection. I hope all the best for Brawn's team. He's a serious F1 superstar but I'm not buying stock until after we see them getting ready for the race.
      • 5 Years Ago
      @Carlo_Carrera: Yes. I'm not saying they can't be good, so I'm curious myself.
      But there were so many particular tests "dominated" by teams who totally failed in entair seasons that to me this sounds rather like wishful thinking. (Even though I wish them success, b/c I feel kinda sorry for JB.)
      Acqui
      • 5 Years Ago
      I am massively rooting for these guys.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Acqui
        Everything that Richard said. Took every last word right out of my mouth.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Acqui
        I know, that is why I wrote:

        "...just when it seems they finally might have a great car to race."

        "If this car is as good at seems..."

        Notice my use of the word "seems" as in the car might be really good or it might not really be very good.

        Read my post more carefully before you slam me.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Acqui
        I am too!

        How ironic is it that Honda bails out just when it seems they finally might have a great car to race.

        If this car is as good at seems it makes Ross Brawn managerial genius.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Acqui
        First,

        Brawn has dominated this week's TEST (singular). Impressive though their relative pace is (and over the last two days it is), headlining that they have dominated testing is an overstatement.

        But their pace is likely quite real and for two key reasons: 1, they hired Ross Brawn (best of the best and chief engineer @ Benneton and Ferrari while M. Schumacher was winning, winning, winning); 2, Honda began working on this car 19 months ago. They forsook continued development of last year's car early in that season to put additional resources on this year's car; 3, Alonso says the pace is real. He is currently the best driver in the championship and should know.

        OK, that's 3 reasons. But, Brawn GP is real!

        Now, back to the "you can't tell nothin' from testing folks...
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Acqui
        @Carlo_Carrera: Once again: Tests, Show, Nothing. As has been said: we don't know who tested what on their cars. Anyone who can make couple of rounds can dominate tests.
        So This car doesn't "seem" look nor bad. Nothing means nothing.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Acqui
        I think carlo's right. It'll be hugely embarrassing for honda if brawn manage to win a race this season (if not fight for podium first half of the season) They've already taking huge flaks at home when they announced to withdraw from F1. I think some senior motorsport journalist called them bunch of impatient wussies.

        I think brawn will be fighting for podiums in the first 6 races. After that the big budget teams would've caught up and they'll be in trouble if they cant keep working on the car because of financial reason. I also wonder if they have enough money to develop next season car (while working on 09 car) or will they be a one season hero?

        Oh btw, dont forget that the 2009 car was the first one totally designed under brawn directions with honda's "unlimited" budget since early last year. So it's not that surprising why it is fast right now.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Acqui
        Sometimes nothing means nothing and sometimes nothing means something.

        We will see in Australia. I think BrawnGP might be quick and F. Alonzo agrees with me so maybe they are.

        Alonso said to the Spanish press at the Circuit de Catalunya: "It's hard to judge right now, but Toyota, Ferrari, BMW or Brawn are very fast..."
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Acqui
        In no way was that a slam on my part. Not knowing you or your depth of knowledge of F1, I just wanted to let you know what testing meant in terms of lap times. Personally I really hope they do well.
      • 5 Years Ago
      God, i hope this news is true!! i hope this is not some light fuel shenanigans! i so want Brawn to shine this season.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Uhh... they smashed the Q2 lap record from last year's race, in milder temperatures. And Q2 is considered fastest part of qualifying.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Don't be too proud of the technological terror they have created. It is insignificant compared to the power of Ferrari.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I coulda sworn a great portion of the power of Ferrari was because of this man though
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is great news. Frankly, I would have been delighted with testing anywhere within the top five. I’m sure the folks in Brackley are delighted as well considering how much anguish they have been through. Hard work and determination make good. One can’t possibly imagine a win in Australia, but I like to think they could manage it sometime this season if the development continues and the situation presents itself.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If they even place 5th in the constructors championship I will be amazed. I bet Jenson and Rubens are running around in circles right now. I've been saying this the moment Brawn was hired, this team will be winners and soon
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      MY GOD. Look at that front wing. It seems to be made at the same time by a homeless, hobo-drifter machinist; and a genius fluid-motion engineer. I can see the rivets and support structures, but it also has a liquid and flowing grace! Two support posts, supporting two demi-arches, each with it's own ending winglet. And both-seemingly at the SAME angle to the right- THE RIGHT, about 15 degrees. And the steps at the tops, first 1 cm then 10. And the "notches" of each cutting edge on the splitter plane. The simple triangles in the middle? Surely some engineer included these not to make the car faster, but to ask us all "why am I here? what is the meaning of existence?" GENIUS!!!! Even if it doesn't work (as it surely musn't) GENIUS!!!!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree, that is some piece of aero work.
      • 5 Years Ago
      W. T. F.

      It's not April 1st, is it?!?

      Wow! Like, how?!?

      /total shock and astonishment
    • Load More Comments