Brawn finds backing to secure F1 future

Brawn GP has now secured the funding to guarantee its Formula 1 future for the next three years, AUTOSPORT has learned, after confirming for the first time that its deal with Virgin will end later this season

The outfit had come into this campaign with enough funding from Honda to see it through to the beginning of 2010, but it needed to find additional backers to guarantee its place in F1 beyond then.

A sponsorship deal with Virgin was signed at the Australian Grand Prix but hopes it could be expanded into a title-sponsorship deal were scuppered when the two parties could not agree on the level of funding. Virgin is now on its way to the new Manor Grand Prix team.

Despite failing to find a deal with Virgin, it is understood that Brawn GP has now managed to put in place agreements with a number of unidentified major backers that will commence from the start of 2010.

Brawn GP CEO Nick Fry said the identity of the sponsors would likely be kept secret until the launch of is 2010 car. The team has been linked to deals with Emirates airline, Monster energy drink, Bwin and Telmex in the past.

"We have zero worries on funding for this year, next year, the year after, and the year after that," he told AUTOSPORT. "I smile when people talk about money, because we've always had the finances for this year, and neither Ross nor I would not have taken on the team if we did not have the money for this year.

"We've signed some nice contracts, and those will come out into the open when we launch the car next year, but we will see what happens. There is zero worry on our side."

Talks with team backers accelerated over the summer once the new Concorde Agreement was in place - as it guaranteed the future of F1 and ended talk of a breakaway.

Team principal Ross Brawn said: "That was a log jam because sponsors wanted to know what the situation was, and things are freeing up. Everyone up the pit lane will find that things are now much better because we know what the commercial basis is for the future.

"We know we are going to be racing for the next three years at least in this championship - and I hope beyond, I hope we don't get into discussions about alternative championships again."

Fry also publicly confirmed for the first time that Virgin was leaving the team at the end of this season, following its first foray into F1.

When asked if the company's logos would be on the Brawn GP car next year, he said: "No. We've had a great relationship with Virgin.

"You have noticed different stickers from Virgin on the car over the year, and that is the result of additional requests from their side, which has increased our income as well, which is nice. I think they have had a great initiation into F1, and we are helping where we can in advice about what they can do with Manor.

"I really do hope they are successful not only next year but beyond, because they are a good company and it is a good company for F1 to have."

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