It has been confirmed that the name Brabham Grand Prix has submitted an application to return to the Formula 1 grid for the first time in almost two decades next year under FIA President Max Mosley's controversial budget cap initiative – and that the team will make use of both Super Aguri's former Oxfordshire facilities and the ex-Honda satellite concern's erstwhile technical director Mark Preston.
It emerged earlier this week that the iconic Brabham outfit – one that achieved four drivers' titles, two constructors' laurels, 35 victories, 120 podium finishes, 40 pole positions, 43 fastest laps and 832 points from 402 starts in the top flight between 1962 and 1992, and employed drivers of the calibre of world champions Sir Jack Brabham, Niki Lauda, Graham Hill, Nelson Piquet and Damon Hill – was behind the enigmatic Formtech GmBH bid, spearheaded by machine tools entrepreneur Franz Hilmer [see separate story – click here
The German has a long and successful record in F1 and the automotive industry in general, and has also tried his hand at driver management as well as being the co-owner of an F3 Euroseries squad with former Midland, Spyker and Force India managing director Colin Kolles – though whether the latter, no longer a part of the grand prix scene after being released from his contract by FIF1 chairman Vijay Mallya in a reshuffle late last year, will have any part to play in the new Brabham project is unclear.
Another key member has been announced as Preston, who boasts twelve years' experience at the highest level, and aside from his Super Aguri position has also previously held leading roles at both McLaren and Arrows. Corporate banking and consultancy expert Dr Hans-Joachim Tritschler has been unveiled as finance and commercial director.
'We appreciate the FIA rules for cost-capped F1 teams and are convinced that the budget limitation is a contemporary obligation and will effect a revitalisation of the Formula 1 World Championship,' read an official statement. 'We would be happy to enter into Formula 1 as a cost-cap team and to meet the challenge under the new rules.'
Last June, Hilmer purchased the assets of the defunct Super Aguri operation – meaning the team has a ready infrastructure in-place in the form of the Leafield Technical Centre in Langley, as well as race cars, transporters and a workforce accustomed to the pressures of F1 and who have been working in the interim period on composite design and manufacturing.
What's more, it is claimed that 75 per cent of the surface of the race car has already been allocated to 'major investors and sponsors' for Brabham's first three seasons from 2010 to 2012. The FIA is due to reveal the successful applicants on 12 June.