After weeks of waiting, the former Honda F1 team has finally confirmed that it does have a future in Formula One - under the Brawn GP banner.

Having gone through periods of uncertainty and hope, and having been connected with individuals such as Virgin's Richard Branson and the world's second richest man, Carlos Slim, Honda Motor Company Limited eventually revealed, as rumoured, that former team principal Ross Brawn had reached an agreement to secure immediate ownership, renaming the team Brawn GP.

"Since announcing our withdrawal from Formula One racing on 5 December last year, we have conducted various studies and discussions so that the team can continue its activities as a new team," Honda Motor Co corporate communications officer Hiroshi Oshima explained, "We are very pleased that we could sell the team to Ross Brawn, with whom we have been partaking in the challenges of F1 competition, and are grateful for his decision. We offer our sincerest wishes for the new team."

The new outfit has, again as rumoured, agreed a technical partnership with Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines, based in Brixworth, to supply it with the 2.4 litre FO108W engine already expected in both the McLaren and Force India this season. Both team name and engine deal remain subject to FIA approval.

"The past few months have been extremely challenging for the team, but today's announcement is the very pleasing conclusion to the strenuous efforts that have been made to secure its future," Brawn commented.

"It is a great shame that, having worked with Honda Motor Company for so long, we can no longer continue together. I would like to thank Honda for the fantastic co-operation and support we have received throughout this process - particularly those members of the senior management who were closely involved with concluding our agreement - and for the faith they have demonstrated in myself and our team.

"It would be impossible to mention all of the people without whom today's announcement may not have been possible, however I would like to express particular appreciation for the support we have received from Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, the FIA, FOM, FOTA, BERR [the UK's Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform], Bridgestone, our other team partners and our many fans the world over. The journey ahead will be challenging but exciting and we know we can count on their continued enthusiasm for our team and its ambitions.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to pay due credit to our staff at Brackley. The levels of motivation and commitment that I have witnessed at the factory deserve the highest praise."

While the 700+ employees at the team's hi-tech UK base worried over their futures, the identity of the team's two drivers formed the focus for outsiders. While Jenson Button was almost certain to return, having only last year started a three-year extension to his long relationship with Honda and, previously, BAR, he was expected to be teamed with GP2 racewinner Bruno Senna. However, Brawn was able to confirm recent speculation linking veteran Rubens Barrichello to the second seat.

"I am delighted that Jenson and Rubens will form our race driver line-up for the 2009 season," he noted, "The vast experience and knowledge that both drivers bring to our team will prove invaluable as we aim to get up to speed in the shortest possible time to be ready for the first race of the season in Melbourne on 29 March. In what will be their fourth season together, their experience with our team in Brackley, our systems and our engineers, will prove a real asset."

No sponsors have been named to the programme, but the team launched its website bearing a yellow-and-black 'swoosh' next to the new Brawn GP logo.

With a shakedown of its 2009-spec car expected at Silverstone today [Friday], Brawn has confirmed that it will take part in the remaining pre-season tests, in Barcelona between 9-12 March and Jerez over 15-17 March, before heading to Melbourne.



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