Brawn targets 'respectable' performance

Ross Brawn is hoping his Brawn GP team's performance at the start of the season will be "respectable" following the conclusion of a deal to save the former Honda Racing squad

Brawn targets 'respectable' performance

The team announced on Friday morning that they will race under the Brawn GP name in 2009, using Mercedes-Benz engines and with Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button in an unchanged driver line-up.

Today's announcement ended months of speculation and hard work, and Brawn GP finally got their new car on track, with Button completing a shakedown at Silverstone.

Despite having only two tests left before the start of the season in Australia, Brawn is hopeful his team will be able to put on a decent performance and made progress throughout the year.

"The biggest hurdle we faced was being in a position to race in Melbourne and we will now be able to achieve that target," said the Briton.

"Initially we may experience some reliability issues resulting from the lack of track testing but we feel we have a good car and we hope that our performance will be respectable.

"We are confident in the fundamental design principle of our car and look forward to the opportunity to develop it further as the season progresses."

Brawn admitted it had been a challenging time for everyone at the team, but he said he was proud of the attitude of his staff throughout the uncertain period.

"There is no denying this has been a difficult time for everyone at our Brackley base, but I am immensely proud of the great spirit and fortitude that I have witnessed in the factory over the course of the past few months," said Brawn.

"The process of designing and manufacturing our new car, which has continued concurrent with the efforts being made to secure the team, has been reasonably straightforward.

"That is particularly pleasing given that our car was designed around a different engine and both the chassis and gearbox have been modified to accommodate the new engine.

"Our first test with the new car, though much later than we would have liked, will be an emotional moment for everyone in the team I'm sure."

Although Brawn refused to make any predictions for the first race of the year, he conceded he was already very proud of the team's efforts.

"The debut race weekend with 20 brand new cars is always difficult to predict and on this occasion I'm not even going to try," he said. "What I know we can take away from Melbourne is an enormous sense of pride and achievement at having already met and overcome our biggest challenge."

Brawn did not specify what his plans for the future of the team were, simply stating that he had and will have the support of the squad's management.

"Following Honda's decision to withdraw, we needed to find a way to secure as many jobs as possible, ensure the team's continued participation in Formula One and make best use of the state of the art facilities that we are fortunate to have here in Brackley," Brawn added.

"Quite simply, I have purchased the team from Honda. As the owner I will continue to be supported by the incumbent management team, who have worked closely with me throughout the sale process and will continue to do so in the future."

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