Jenson Button, Brawn, Silverstone, 2009

Brawn GP’s BGP 001 breaks cover at Silverstone

2009 F1 season

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The new Brawn GP team tested its 2009 Formula 1 car at Silverstone today. Jenson Button was at the wheel of the BGP 001.

The nose is very different to that seen on the interim Honda tested at the end of 2008.

It has very detailed mini-wings inboard of the sidepods in front of the adjustable element. The sidepods are high and wide, similar to those on the McLaren MP4/24.

Throughout 2008 we often heard how Honda was keeping its development to a minimum to focus on its 2009 car. Although work continued on its 2009 challenger in the two months since Honda announced it was putting the team up for sale, the team have not gone testing until now.

The car, which would have been the Honda RA109, is now the Brawn GP 001. It has been modified to use Mercedes’ FO108W engine instead of the Honda unit it was designed for, which will surely have caused some compromises.

They will test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain next week along with the other F1 teams, which should give us an idea how close Brawn GP are going to be to the pace.

The other striking thing about the BGP 001 is its lack of sponsorship. The almost all-white livery is reminiscent of the Super Aguris when they made their final appearance in last year’s Spanish Grand Prix. Will the team be able to attract any backers in time for the first race of the season?

Read more: Complete 2009 F1 drivers and teams line-up

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Author information

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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53 comments on “Brawn GP’s BGP 001 breaks cover at Silverstone”

  1. Good looking car though, and the front wing features some rather interesting designs. I hope that they aren’t just a feature of the back of the pack this season

    1. They weren’t :-D

  2. Robert McKay
    6th March 2009, 19:28

    A point I just saw made on James Allen’s (excellent) blog: that now we have two independent teams with customer engines: Williams and Brawn GP.

    I hadn’t thought of this prior, but it’s true. As such I feel I shall go out of my way to support this new entity, along with Williams. I like the independent aspect of them.

    1. Robert McKay
      6th March 2009, 19:31

      I mean privately owned in the sense there’s no manufacturer or massive company like Kingfisher/Red Bull involved, of course.

    2. Here, Here!

  3. it sure does look a nice effort. it’s a shame that they have missed so much testing but then again this car has been in the pipeline for so long that it may hit the ground running. anyway, hats off to Mr Brawn and best of luck for 09.

  4. Great looking car and one hopes that they can hit the ground running. Surely this must be a dream come true for Ross Brawn… His very own F1 team!!

    Just hope more has gone into the design of the car than the livery. A great set of bones spoilt by awful skin.

    I shall certainly be routing for Brawn racing this year.

  5. Boston F1 Fan
    6th March 2009, 20:05

    – That’s super. I like the minimalist look, but it could have been even cooler (a pure black F1 car?)

  6. Boston F1 Fan
    6th March 2009, 20:06

    – And any news on sponsors?

  7. Very very cool!

    Hopefully the lack of testing doesn’t have too bad of an effect!

    Best of luck to Mr Brawn and his team!!! :D

  8. graham228221
    6th March 2009, 20:43

    Apart from the hideous livery (which reminds me of a garish late-90’s shellsuit), it’s actually one of the better looking cars.

    Good job BGP, looking forward to seeing how they do in testing next week.

  9. I like it.
    BrawnGP have a huge task in front of them, but this a big step forward.

    I’ll be cheering them on although I suppose they’ll be on the back of the grid, for 2009 at least.

    Good Luck

    1. how wrong you were…

      1. Mouse_Nightshirt
        12th March 2010, 7:56

        Heh, Retrospectivity is great!

  10. I think it looks nice, not often you see a car with no sponsers, it shows of the curves more.

  11. I don’t think this will be the final livery, according to rumours they have secured a big name sponsor but the final livery won’t be unveiled before Melbourne. So hope they’re right…

  12. I think it’s the right moment to see the Johhny Player Special return. Do you remember the Lotus livery with that sponsor? Probably my favourite ever…

  13. Mouse Nightshirt
    6th March 2009, 22:47

    Is it just me that notices the grooved tyres?

    1. Yeah I wondered about that too!!

      Why bother with them three weeks before Melbourne??

      Hopefully they are able to be a little bit competetive this year. I cant really see it happening, but here’s hoping!

    2. They’re not grooved, in the 2008-and-earlier sense of the word, they’re intermediates. Have a look at the larger picture you can see the tread more clearly.

    3. All teams use interst for shakedown tests as they don’t count towards testing miles.

  14. Suddenly the UK has not only the front runners to root for but we now have our very own Super Aguri. Let’s just hope they don’t go the same way!
    Honestly, I will genuinely be rooting for them!

  15. I like the yellow inn the paint very much- hopefully we will see it more in the final color scheme. As for sponsors, don’t forget that the takeover was just recently completed- I am sure some more details will turn up on the paint before Oz.

    1. I agree Gman, the team was only announced yesterday, I should think they’re still sorting out sponsor deals. This will just be a testing/interim livery, although I’d love to see it carry through.

      There needs to me more black and yellow though, and less white, to distinguish it more.

  16. sayonaraman
    7th March 2009, 5:08

    It looks naked, which is good. I’d say Durex could splash a few quid on it.

  17. Their rear wing is also without a central vertical beam, like the Red Bull. I am guessing thats a good thing.

    The sidepods seem to stick out though. Or may be; its just the colour scheme.

    It does seem they have been working behind closed doors all the 2 months though.

  18. Good to hear that they are going to be racing still who knows this may be the time where smaller teams can get in the points as even the main players come to terms with lower spending and kers – tighter racing? – not long now to find out

  19. A tiny detail, Keith, doesn’t McLaren label their car numbers with a dash since somewhere in the mid-90s? So this year’s car is the MP4-24?

  20. Looks to plain to me but maybe before australia if they find new sponsors it will have a more lively livery. Im glad they put Barichello he knows his stuff and will help the team advance, however i do see this year being his last!

  21. Hopefully the all white livery and the Brawn name behind the team will lead sponsors towards this new and hopefully revitalised team. Fingers crossed they are not at the bottom of the grid this year again…

  22. Rabi Sultan
    7th March 2009, 14:05

    Interesting that both Kingfisher and Red Bull are drink companies, perhaps it’s worthwhile for both Williams and Brawn Racing to look at names such as Fosters or Carlsberg for major sponsorship since all the banks don’t have any money.

    1. Kingfisher is sponsoring Force India as the airline, not the drinks company. Of course, the same name helps to identify both brands, but this is the “official” ideal.

      The Brawn GP logo is based in black, yellow and white. While any final livery in these colours may not appeal to some (or maybe most), it certainly is a step away from the current themes on the grid. Good stuff, I say. And dare I say – The Brawn GP car may well be the toughest looking car on the grid come March 29, if not the prettiest.

  23. lee cambell
    7th March 2009, 14:37

    hope all goes well for brawn and co, a leeds united sponsored car would look amazing,go brawn and lufc

  24. I really don’t think that anyone should be majorly worried about the lack of sponsors on the car. It is just too early for anything like that. I’m sure the car will have sponsors come Melbourne. The team is brand new, I’m sure negociations are in place, it’s just that pen hasn’t hit paper yet with regards to them.

  25. With subsidies from Honda and Bernie they will survive without sponsors this year. It would be a huge psychological boost to arrive in Oz with a major sponsor on board and appropriate livery, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t any.

    Is that the lowest nose profile of any car on the grid this year? Maybe Ross will pull some podiums out of the hat this year, what with MB power under the bonnet. Next weeks testing may give us a clue.

  26. Seeing all these droop noses again makes me yearn for some proper low-nosed cars.

    I hope whichever sponsor they get on board can compy with a similar colour scheme, I love the black and vibro-yellow.

  27. White Car = dead meat………. sorry.

  28. I actually like the livery. It’s a really nice looking car. I love the simple livery. I’m sure by the start of the first race the livery will be covered with sponsors and will be uglified.

  29. Keith i have pretty important question i guess.It`s about KERS.Does the team will be able to use KERS just after start(will it be preloaded?) or will have to wait whole lap to load battery?

    1. Drivers can use it right from the start. Heikki said in an interview to autosport that it will be useful from the start to the first corner.

      But I doubt; if the KERS is pre-loaded. May be drivers are supposed to do some serious braking in the warm-up lap to charge the KERS.

  30. Anyone have any news on the offical unveiling? I heard somewhere that it will be in Melbourne the thursday before the GP, and I’ve always wanted to go to an F1 launch *hint, hint*

  31. Why does the BRAWN-GP logo do what it does:

    BR in straight letters

    AWN – GP in italics.

    BR is clearly a reference to the solid engineering and delayed timetable of British Rail.

    AWN according to my friend Wikipedia is a hairy appendage – is this a reference to Jenson Button?

    GP of course relates to ‘Get Points’ the team motto.

  32. you would have thought Brawn would have been able to get a good deal on ferrari engines…

    1. Apparently the Mercedes engines fit the chassis better.

  33. I think they are going to suprise people by being quite quick at Melbourne.

    Brawn was talking up the the team in December/January time saying they were probably going to be the fastest on the grid in 09 (ok, maybe to attract a buyer, but still). I also don’t think he would have invested to run at the back of the field.

    Most of the research was done in early 2008 for this car anyway (hence the RA108 being so crap) – Mark my words… they’ll be quick!

  34. This could be the greatest thing to hit F1 this year. I sure hope so , Mr.R.brawn has a reputation for technical excellence and picking the right strategy .. and with Jenson and Ruebens surely the ingredience for a top line team .

  35. I think we still have to take this team very seriously. The original version of this car was under development for some months, with Honda money and resources, and by all probability, the first car where Brawn could really have had an overseeing role, as he joined Honda when the turning-out-to-be-dreary RA108 should have been done, basically. So even if they didn’t test until now, I don’t expect them to be in such shambles that they couldn’t get a decent result in Melbourne.

    Especially if you consider that Force India and even more so Toro Rosso had a pretty late start in testing with their new cars.

    What I’m wondering is if Brawn will be using KERS. The side pods of the BGP 001 look much narrower to me at the bottom, compared to the McLaren running with the Mercedes engine and KERS, so I’d suspect Brawn probably won’t bother with that for the first few races, and focus on getting a solid performance out of the car as it is.

  36. Two minor points about this great looking car:
    1. Why wasn’t it run with a Honda engine anywhere? Even if ultimately they lost the Honda power, the team needed to get the car seen by potential sponsors.
    2. Is there now enough time left to do serious testing before the start of the season, and to get the drivers, mechanics etc accustomed to the car?
    I do support any attempt by an independant team, but I get the feeling Honda are still in the background here and have held back what could be a successful enterprise.

  37. From the few pictures I have seen so far I quite like the car, I much prefer the low and wide style nose to high and narrow. Although the realistic expectation is probably the back of the grid I wouldn’t be surprised if they are not in last place in the championship at the end of the season.

    I think I read somewhere that they won’t unveil their livery until just before the Melbourne GP.
    It’s probably a case of liking what I am used to, but modern F1 cars all in one colour just don’t seem right to me, likewise classic cars from the 1950s etc before wings don’t seem right to me if they are covered in sponsors logos.

  38. is it just me or does that car look so much like the mp4-24? more than just engine supply perhaps?

  39. Good looking car ! the main thing is that they don´t use all-black wheels, which is a very old look.
    The wheels with the silver outline look great. Can´t wait to see the final livery … make it elegant, not funky !
    Good luck to Brawn GP !!!

    1. the team colours could be established as:
      — dark metallic green plus silver or
      — dark metallic green plus GOLD

      This is a very elegantly proportioned car, independently of the livery

  40. They are a winner guys ;)

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