Brawn GP chief Ross Brawn has warned rival teams that the F1 champions could be in even better shape in 2010 as it seeks to defend the 'fairytale' titles it secured this season.
Brawn successfully rose from the ashes of the Honda F1 team after the Japanese marque elected to quit the sport at the end of 2008, with Jenson Button securing the drivers' title and the Brackley-based outfit lifting the constructors' championship at the first time of asking.
That success came despite the challenging nature of the team's off-season, which saw team boss Brawn lead an eleventh hour rescue deal to ensure its survival, and a late switch to Mercedes engines forcing the team to make radical changes to its car to accommodate the new power plant.
Unlike 2009, when the initial design of the car was focused around an engine that wasn't then used, work on the 2010 car has been carried out with the Mercedes engine in mind, and Brawn insisted that could only beneftit the team going into the season.
“I think in the early part of the year we had the quickest car and at the end, we were in a group,” he told ITV-F1
. “I think some of the compromises we made with the installation of the engine hurt us too much.
“We've had a good run into installing this [Mercedes] engine in the car now, so things like the cooling system, the exhaust system, the airbox – all those things have been developed more thoroughly on the new car.
"The main thing for us is that it's the second year of working with Mercedes and it should be a much better installation because we've had an opportunity to begin early and have the sort of exhaust system we need, design the gearbox properly for the engine, design the chassis properly for the engine, put the right coolers on... so we should benefit from all those things."
While the team benefited this season from Honda's decision to focus on its 2009 car early on, Brawn has been unable to do the same this season due to its championship challenge, but the team boss insisted that good progress had still been made on the 2010 machine.
“We've been trying to balance what we do this year with next year,” he said. “Because we don't want to be a one season wonder, we've had to make sure we can balance this year and next year.”