World champion team owner Ross Brawn has warned his Formula One rivals that next year's BGP002 should be a more complete racer capable of keeping the Brackley squad at the front of the field.
Speaking to British F1 broadcaster BBC
for a seasonal review programme to be shown later this month, Brawn admitted that, while his team's first car had stunned the field by winning on debut, it had both benefited from the rule changes and been compromised by the late rescue from the ashes of Honda's grand prix operation.
Being the best interpreter of the initially controversial diffuser regulations helped propel Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello into an early championship lead, but Brawn insists that the rush to convert the BGP001 from Honda spec in order to accommodate the Mercedes engines that eventually took the Briton to the drivers' title had produced compromises that became apparent as the year went on.
"There were some heavy compromises with our car," Brawn confirmed, "Fitting the engine so late in the day brought those compromises - even though the engine is probably the best in F1. We won't have to make those compromises next year, but there is also no opportunity with the new regulations. We took that opportunity [in 2009] but it's going to be far more difficult next season as, by the second half of this year, the [other] teams [had] caught up."
Despite having been pegged back by the likes of Red Bull Racing and McLaren as 2009 wore on, however, Brawn remains optimistic that his team will remain among the frontrunners as it builds on the success of its first car.
"We've got every reason to believe we can be competitive, [and] we are quietly confident about next year," he insisted, "I hope this is the year that we've put Brawn GP on the map, that 2009 is remembered as the year Brawn was born, [but] we couldn't have had better results in order to create a future
for the team. We are in a good position for next year."
The former Benetton and Ferrari playcaller also has reason to be confident looking further ahead, having already taken cost-cutting measures that his rivals will be forced to make at the end of next season.
"There is a change coming in F1 - it's downsizing," he noted, "We have 450 people now and other teams are still at the level that Honda were at last year. There may have been a period when numbers counted but, by 2011, grand prix teams will be our size and so we've got every reason to believe we can be competitive. I'm looking forward to it."