Ross Brawn has admitted that he is slightly sad to see his name disappear from the Formula One entry list after just one - successful - season, but concedes that doing a deal with Mercedes opens up a whole new array of possibilities for a team that was on the rack just over a year ago.

Brawn GP left F1 with a 100 per cent record as far as titles were concerned, having clinched both the drivers' crown, with Jenson Button, and constructors' championship in its only season of competition, but Brawn knows that, having escaped the clutches of unemployment following the collapse of Honda's works entry, entering into another with the might of Mercedes could ultimately bring more success to his Brackley-based operation.

"It's a little disappointing [to see the Brawn GP name go," he admitted to the official F1 website, "It was a wonderful, very exciting, time, but I think this opportunity, teaming up with Mercedes, is so big that I definitely can live with a little bit of disappointment. To be part of Mercedes-Benz, with Mercedes' stability and security, and the support that we will have technically from Mercedes-Benz, means that I have little to regret about Brawn GP disappearing."

The former Williams, Benetton and Ferrari man revealed that, amid all the rumours of possible sponsorship deals for 2010, the chance of doing a deal with Mercedes evolved quickly once Button and the team had got into their stride.

"Things moved very quickly for us, from being a manufacturer team in November 2008 to being out of work in December and January, and then to having a new team in February and March," he reflected, "So there have been a lot of things developing.

"Once the idea started to mature of a Mercedes team, then it became more and more attractive because Mercedes clearly gave the right scope and opportunity with their engine facility. I could see there that they understood what was needed in F1, so becoming part of the Mercedes works team became very attractive, as it gave us security and a future.

"We started a partnership in December last year when they agreed to provide their engine to the team, [and] they were very supportive during that difficult time, which lasted several months, when we didn't know what the future of the team would be. As the team developed during the year, we informed Mercedes that we were looking for greater stability and some investment in the team to ensure its security. We really informed them as a courtesy and not as a move to go beyond the relationship that we had, but Mercedes came back saying that they would, at least, like to discuss what our objectives were and what our ambitions for the team were.

By then it was already mid-season and we started to discuss things from there. I knew that we were joining a partner who had a great understanding of what was needed to be successful in F1, [and] they gave us the possibility of running the team in the best way to try to win world championships."

Asked whether such a partnership would have been possible without the immediate success achieved with the BGP001, Brawn smiled.

"Who knows - faith is a strange thing, isn't it?" he admitted, "I would not know whether it would have happened or not. Obviously the team winning races and being successful helped the whole thing move along, helped the deal with Mercedes, helped the deal with Michael [Schumacher] and helped the deal with Petronas, who came on board as partners because the whole package was coming together."

Having won both titles in its debut season under his control, Brawn knows that there will be added pressure on the team to succeed in 2010, especially having pulled off the second coup of persuading Michael Schumacher to come out of retirement and return to the pinnacle of the sport at 41.

"The car is a good step from the car we have now, [and] it is a reasonable progression from what we had at the last race in Abu Dhabi," he reported, "It's probably quite a bit quicker. We believe we have made good progress but, clearly everybody, is working in a vacuum at this time of year, not knowing what your competitors are doing. We have had no feedback from other people. If someone has made more progress, then we have to work double shifts."

Work is already continuing apace in Brackley, with Brawn revealing that there will be major differences between the car that hits the track at next week's Valencia group test, and the one that kicks off the season in anger in March.

"We have two stages with the car - the one you will see in Valencia and a different car that you will see in Bahrain," he confirmed, "We have one month to six weeks between the launches and the first race, [and] I think that all the new cars will be going through this two-stage development. They, or at least all the most serious teams, will arrive with their new cars to the tests and then they will bring a major update to Bahrain."

A renowned strategist during his previous working relationships with Schumacher, Brawn may be in his element in 2010, following the banning of refuelling. Having gained a step on the field with last year's double diffuser, he sees the coming year as being a little less turbulent, but no less important when it comes to thinking hard about the design of the cars.

"I think the main area which teams will have dealt with is fuel capacity," he concluded, "The cars have twice the fuel capacity than we had in previous years. I think how teams have managed to deal with the extra fuel capacity will be the technical challenge that we have for the 2010 season.

"But it is not as significant as the aerodynamic changes that we had from 2008 to 2009. I think people will have optimised their diffusers for 2010, and then, as the regulations have changed, we'll go back to a conventional diffuser for 2011. I don't see the radical solutions that we had in 2009 surfacing - and I hope we don't have the disagreements that we had in 2009...."


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