Brawn speed

Now you can call me a cynic if you like but the speed of the new Brawn BGP001 has been quite startling. The folk at Honda must be kicking themselves back in Tokyo (or perhaps falling on swords) given what they have just given away…

However, one needs to be always a little careful at this time of year with teams that are trying to make an impression. I am not saying the Brawn is not fast because it obviously is a good car, but what has been surprising is that it is SO fast, compared to the McLaren, which uses the same engine.

The McLaren folk admit that there is a problem with the car but say that they have figured out the problem and will have a solution in Melbourne. If not, it is going to be embarrassing. 

I am delighted for the Brawn team if the car turns out to be this good, but in the back of my mind a little voice is saying: “Remember the Prost, Remember the Prost”.

Back in 1997 the Prost-Mugen Honda was very quick in pre-season testing – and was quick in the races. But in 2001 the team turned in some brilliant pre-season times with Jean Alesi at the wheel of the Prost-Ferrari AP04. There was, I reported, “some scepticism about the team’s new-found speed, some in F1 paddock suggesting that good testing results will do the team no harm at all as it tries to convince sponsors that it is a good investment this year. Such tricks are not unusual.”

The only way we will find out for certain is when the cars head into the race in Australia… There are going to be some people in Tokyo watching that, while hiding behind the sofa, lest the cars really are that fast…

7 thoughts on “Brawn speed

  1. You’re so right, it seems like there’s still a lot of place for some sponsorship on the car. I’ve also thought about the Prost pace of 2001 and I believe the year before when the black Arrows’ of Verstappen and De la Rosa were destroying the lap record day after day… at the end of the year they only had a couple of point-finishes. And what about Verstappen in that white… Honda. Pre-season testing: I love it.

  2. It really is a head-scratcher. Of course, if you were to look for the one team that would want to impress and the one that might want to play some head-games, well you named them both, but then again, we are talking about a year under Brawn’s full management, and we know he doesn’t exactly take his job lightly. This is shaping up to be one of the most interesting pre-seasons in some time. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the former Honda team pulled a Super Aguri……

  3. Would somebody like Ross Brawn – needing sponsors or not – mess around running the car light? I doubt it, its a futile exercise and with testing so limited its also a waste of valuable time.

    If sponsors were such an issue surely he’d have hired Bruno Senna…?

  4. Joe – What odds would you give that the Brawn-Merc will actually get points int he first half of the season? From what I understand from following F1 for a couple of decades, Brawn is not a man for ‘smoke and mirrors’.

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