Official: Ross Brawn to join Honda for 2008

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Ross Brawn will join Honda as team principal for 2008 confirming rumours that first surfaced in April.

The move comes after Jenson Button threatened he would leave the team if it did not make a substantial improvement over its dismal performance this year, when it scored only six points.

Button told the Mail on Sunday: “The car was a complete dog and I’m just not interested in racing like this any more.” Links below.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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16 comments on “Official: Ross Brawn to join Honda for 2008”

  1. It looks like the move came before Button came up with the warning to the team, but nobody, even Button did have a clue what is Fry up to … One must give it to them, they managed to keep it secret almost to the time of the announcement. The swift action after the Brawn-Ferrari talks broke down (without most of s even realizing that there were any talks) shows that Fry was dead serious about getting Brawn on board and the moment he was free he grabbed him.

    Now lets hope that all that Brawn brings to Honda is his brain and experience and that all Ferrari dossiers will stay back in Maranello where the belong.

  2. Button is likely to have to wait until 2009 to see any major improvement though as I would imagine the 2008 car is pretty much fully developed by now.

    Even without Brawn’s involvement, it’s bound to be better than this year’s!

  3. You have to wonder if the delay in confirming was due to the fact that Nigel Stepney and Mike Coughlan approached Nick Fry for employment before the spy scandal erupted? Although it might just have been a standard 12 month ‘gardening leave’ thing.

  4. Yup, I’m sure you’re right on that, Keith. This should be interesting. It puts Nakamoto and Fry in less prominent positions, for sure.

  5. Now that could have been a formidable lineup if Brawn had been joined at Honda by those two as well!

    Perhaps Brawn’s appointment would encourage Alonso to join him there at the expense of Rubens?

  6. Its great to see Ross Brawn joining Honda, his presence will certainly lift the team up, and the RA108 really can’t be any worse than the RA107. So things look on the up for Honda?

    I wonder how the Honda people will take to Brawn’s way of running a team…

  7. I think it is a strange situation, that within minutes of Honda announcing the RB coup, Ferrari announce a reshuffle that excludes JT !
    Why did RB not rejoin Ferrari if there was a reshuffle planned.
    At the risk of being cynical – is the reshuffle punishment for JT not retiring and allowing RB to take over ?
    I also hope that RB does indeed have total control at Honda without the influence of ‘Honda mentality’.
    It remains to be seen in the long term if Honda has performed a ‘Masterstroke’

  8. By default, it’s a masterstroke… The only people that can prevent that is Honda themselves. What they need now is the mentality they had in the 1960s and the 1980s. Not their recent 21st century mentality.

  9. Exactly Journeyer, as an example, what was the thinking behind appointing Nakamoto ? Just because you are good on two wheels does not mean success in F1. Its like saying someone that can design kites would would be good at the top of Boeing.

  10. Nigel Stepney did say, several months back, that Ross Brawn was planning a move to another team, along with a few Ferrari staff. Makes me wonder what he, Ross, knows about the spy affair. I’m not suggesting his hands are unclean though.

  11. Well there has been one exception – john surtees – a world champion on bikes and with ferrari – still has his championship winning ferrari as it used to be company policy to scrap them at the end of the season!!

  12. “I wonder how the Honda people will take to Brawn’s way of running a team…”

    Yep M Smith, that is what I am waiting to see as well …

  13. Wonder will that mean ITV might mention Jenson Buttons name this year….I think Honda can only benefit hugely from this move, lets hope we see Jenson get a competitive car!”

  14. As someone’s pointed out, it may be a year – perhaps even more – before we see any vast improvement. It took a short while to take Ferrari to the top, and that was with the right people (Schumacher, Byrne) at the right time . . . you need the team to gel and push together, which won’t just happen overnight.

    I’m sure Honda have the right key figures to be competitive, it just needs to come together.

    Hiring Brawn is not a quick fix solution, it’s obviously a long term goal, so it’ll be interesting to see how it pans out.

  15. You’re quite right Loki but remember, this deal might have been done in April, or even earlier. If so he won’t have spent all his time fishing and pootling around the garden. He’ll have plenty of plans…

  16. on brawn joining honda – well you couldnt get a more committed and good team leader than him to guide honda forward and unless he has been giving some advice and input on next years honda since april?? – maybe not – I agree it would take a year for that to produce a competitive car for honda – the big thing is how many times has he produced a win just by pitlane strategy alone – something good to look forward to in 2008

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