F1 »

Brawn admits Ferrari engine talks.

Ross Brawn has revealed that the defunct Honda Formula 1 operation has begun negotiations for a Ferrari engine supply in 2009 – even though it has still to find a buyer and is unlikely to test between now and the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne in March.

Having dismissed suggestions that Telmex billionaire Carlos Slim is planning to buy the Brackley-based outfit [see separate story – click here], and with the rumour mill around David Richards' independent Prodrive concern seemingly having run cold, the outward signs do not look good for Honda as the new season approaches apace, but team principal Brawn insists he is 'really optimistic' about the squad's prospects of survival.

The 54-year-old claims that 'there has been a huge amount of interest' from a number of buyers, and that now it is a question of 'filtering out the serious from the not-so-serious'. Moreover, he confirmed that talks had been opened up with his former employers Ferrari with a view to running customer powerplants from Maranello this year.

“Honda has already said it will not supply us with engines, so that's why I contacted Ferrari,” the man who filled the role of technical director at the Scuderia during the 'Schumacher Era' from 1996 to 2006 told Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“We haven't signed anything yet, but I really appreciated the support from President Luca di Montezemolo and Stefano Domenicali. It's like being among former schoolmates – they still see me as one of their own.”

Brawn added that rather than safeguarding his own future, he is most focussed upon assuring job security for Honda F1's 750 employees, all of whom have faced a distinctly uncertain winter since the big-budget Japanese manufacturer announced it was withdrawing from the sport just over a month ago.

“I can only say it's more than one,” he responded when asked how many potential investors the team is in discussion with. “The objective is to save the jobs…my presence is certainly not a priority.

“There's no hurry, because modifying the car to install a different engine requires at least six weeks of work anyway. It's unlikely we'll manage to be on-track during the winter; that's why we are studying a package of evolutions for 2010, when we aim to step up the ladder. This year will remain for us a transitional one.”

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for record-breaking multiple F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher has sought to quash wild speculation that the retired German legend may be one of the parties interested in helping to rescue Honda.

Schumacher achieved all seven of his title successes with Brawn's help, firstly at Benetton and then Ferrari, but Sabine Kehm was quick to rubbish suggestions that the recently-turned 40-year-old may now be keen to re-establish that partnership in a different context.

“Ross and Michael are still friends, that's true,” she told motorsport-total.com, “but Michael's involvement with Honda is limited to the IDM (German Superbike series).”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Stefano Domenicali (ITA) Team Principal Ferrari, Ross Brawn (GBR) Team Principal, Honda Racing F1, French F1 Grand Prix, Magny Cours, France, 20th-22nd, June, 2008
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H  leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Minardimatt - Unregistered

January 06, 2009 6:29 PM

Worst thing Honda ever did was getting rid of David Richards. The guy knew how to structure teams and get the best out of his workforce and assets a bit like Flavio. They were moving up the grid right up to the point Honda decided they wanted their own guy (didn't Button get a win under Richards's reign?) I bet Honda look back and kick themselves.

forager 1

January 06, 2009 8:22 PM

Apparently, The Schui/Brawn has already been denied! The last thing Ferrai would want is Micheal getting back in F1 Car. Perhaps that's why they've kept Him under Contract. But OH what a rumour :)



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.