Brawn GP will have to mount its challenge for victory in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix from the bottom end of the pitlane, AUTOSPORT has learned.
The takeover and renaming of the former Honda Racing team by Ross Brawn was officially approved by the FIA earlier this week - on the basis that the team is a new entrant.
That move to make the team a new entry does have implications for the team. As well as the impact it has on Constructors' Championship payments for itself and Force India, which finished behind it in 2008, Brawn GP will also be given the final slot in the pitlane and paddock.
It means that Force India, which had been due to occupy the last slot as a result of finishing 10th in the Constructors' Championship standings, will now move up one place.
Although having the last slot means getting smaller garage space than other teams at some races, it can be a strategic advantage for pitstops because drivers can get a clear run either into or out of the pits - rather than having to manoeuvre around other teams.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone confirmed that Brawn GP will be in the final garages as a result of the fact it is a new entrant.
"They will be where a new team would be," explained Ecclestone. "If you started a new team, that is where you would be."
He added: "It is nothing to do with Honda [anymore]. On December 5, Honda withdrew. They said they were stopping, and this subsequently was backed up by their president a couple of times, saying that they have stopped.
"If they had wanted to continue with different shareholders, and it was called Honda, it would have gone on. Whatever was due to Honda, they would have got."
It is not clear yet if Brawn GP's race numbers will be changed to reflect the fact that it is a new team.