Following the revelation that the Max Mosley-founded March Racing Organisation has submitted a bid to join the Formula 1 grid in 2010 in the new budget-capped era, it has now emerged that another 'blast from the past' could similarly be set for a comeback – Bernie Ecclestone's old team Brabham.
When the original candidates were named last month, there was much uncertainty regarding the identity of Formtech, but now it transpires that the German company owns the rights to Brabham Grand Prix Limited, founded as Motor Racing Developments by triple F1 world champion Jack Brabham and designer Ron Tauranac back in 1960, with the former's 1966 crown remaining to this day the only title for a driver behind the wheel of a car bearing his own name.
Brabham was sold to Ecclestone in 1971, with the sport's commercial rights-holder subsequently selling it on again in 1988 two championship triumphs later, before the squad collapsed due to financial difficulties midway through the 1992 campaign, with 1996 world champion Damon Hill registering its final finish in eleventh place in the Hungarian Grand Prix of that year.
From 402 starts in the top flight over three decades, the team achieved four drivers' titles, two constructors' laurels, 35 victories, 120 podium finishes, 40 pole positions, 43 fastest laps and 832 points. Amongst the illustrious names on its driving roll of honour were multiple world champions Brabham, Niki Lauda, Graham Hill and Nelson Piquet.
Now, however, it appears Brabham may have the opportunity to add to those successes, with Formtech owner Franz Hilmer reportedly very serious about his aspirations of making it onto the grand prix grid, having purchased the assets of the defunct Super Aguri operation last June – meaning the team has facilities in the form of the Leafield Technical Centre, race cars, transporters and a workforce already accustomed to the pressures of F1 and who have been working in the interim period on composite design and manufacturing.