The Brawn GP team has seen one minor change imposed on its participation in this year's Formula One world championship on the eve of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix - after the FIA decided that it could not inherit the numbers 'earned' by predecessor Honda.

The Brackley team, which rose with dramatic effect from the ashes of the Japanese marque's dismal attempt to crack F1, had been expected to carry the numbers 18 and 19 into battle in Melbourne, reflecting the ninth place recorded by Honda in last season's constructors' standings. Instead, however, the official entry list released by the sport's governing body has it listed as 20 and 21, after the team was classified as a new entry to the championship.

The alteration moves Force India to 18 and 19 and, perhaps more importantly for morale, away from the end of the pit-lane, where Brawn GP will now reside. The position is seen as an indicator of prestige, but being demoted is unlikely to deter Ross Brawn's eponymous equipe, which has shown its fighting qualities by emerging from the gloom of Honda's withdrawal and immediately posting pace-setting times in testing.

Mercedes engine partner McLaren was demoted to the end of the pit-lane for its part in the 2007 espionage scandal, a move seen as punishment for a team more used to being in the thick of the battle and grouped with expected rivals such as Ferrari and Renault in the pit-lane pecking order.

Two other numerical alterations were noted on the entry list, although both - unlike the switch between Brawn and Force India - have already been included in the majority of season previews. The FIA confirmed that it had accepted requests from Ferrari and Scuderia Toro Rosso to swap the car numbers of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastien Buemi respectively.

The final entry list for the 2009 F1 world championship is as follows:

1. Lewis Hamilton Vodafone McLaren Mercedes McLaren-Mercedes
2. Heikki Kovalainen Vodafone McLaren Mercedes McLaren-Mercedes

3. Felipe Massa Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari-Ferrari
4. Kimi Raikkonen Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari-Ferrari

5. Robert Kubica BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW-Sauber
6. Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW-Sauber

7. Fernando Alonso ING Renault F1 Team Renault-Renault
8. Nelson Piquet Jr ING Renault F1 Team Renault-Renault

9. Jarno Trulli Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota-Toyota
10. Timo Glock Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota-Toyota

11. S?bastien Bourdais Scuderia Toro Rosso STR-Ferrari
12. S?bastien Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso STR-Ferrari

14. Mark Webber Red Bull Racing RBR-Renault
15. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing RBR-Renault

16. Nico Rosberg AT&T Williams Williams-Toyota
17. Kazuki Nakajima AT&T Williams Williams-Toyota

18. Adrian Sutil Force India F1 Team Force India-Mercedes
19. Giancarlo Fisichella Force India F1 Team Force India-Mercedes

20. Jenson Button Brawn GP Formula One Team Brawn-Mercedes
21. Rubens Barrichello Brawn GP Formula One Team Brawn-Mercedes

Comments

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment