The Brawn GP car that saw Jenson Button win the 2009 Formula One World Championship, will be back in action this year for the first time since the end of that fairy-tale season, when it turns out at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which will run from 23rd – 26th June 2016.
The BGP001 dominated the 2009 season, taking victory in six out of the first seven races, and finishing on the podium in the first eight, before a more unpredictable second half of the year saw the rest of the field close up to the leaders. They could not do enough to overthrow the Brawn GP squad from that top spot however, and they went on to clinch both championship titles at the penultimate race of the season in Brazil. A fifth place finish for Button, in what was a superb recovery drive from the Brit after starting from fourteenth on the grid, was enough to crown him champion, and led to the now infamous broadcast of Button singing ‘We are the champions’ over team radio.
But rewind back to the beginning of that season, and it was a miracle the team were ever ready in time never mind good enough to win the title, having been born from the demise of the Honda F1 team, who made a shocking withdrawal from the sport in December 2008, just two months prior to the start of the 2009 season. Button’s future looked bleak, until at the very last moment, just three weeks prior to the start of the season, Ross Brawn confirmed he had bought out the Honda team he had headed up as Team Principal, and the new squad would race under his name as Brawn GP.
The car was quick from the off, the controversial double diffuser a stroke of genius from Brawn whose technical prowess gave the squad a much needed edge over their rivals. They went on to completely outperform the competition over the first half of the season, which was good enough to see the Brawn GP team become the first new constructor to win both the Driver and Constructors titles since Alfa Romeo in 1950, in the process.
A favourite car of many, it is now being readied for its comeback appearance, and who better than Brawn himself to oversee those preparations. The former Scuderia Ferrari and Benetton man was overjoyed to hear the BGP001 would be in action at such a prestigious event.
“I’m absolutely delighted that one of only three Brawn BGP 001s built is coming to the Festival of Speed. I’ve had chassis 002, which is the very car Jenson Button used throughout his world title-winning season in 2009, in my collection since that time and can’t wait for it to turn a wheel under its own power for the first time since that incredible season.
“The car was stripped and rebuilt before I took it and has been rarely seen in public since then. Frazer Deane at D3 Racing is meticulously going over it in readiness for its run up the hill at the Festival and some of the mechanics who worked on the car in period are giving up their time to help run it at FoS.
“I can’t think of a better place to show off the car than at Goodwood. The event is remarkable. I’ve been many times and love getting up close to such important competition cars. In F1 you get very close to your own car, but not to anyone else’s! The public’s enthusiasm for the history of motorsport is one of the reasons the event is such a success. It’s superbly well run and a real history lesson.”
The Festival of Speed is the largest event of its kind in the world, and gathers together the planet’s rarest and most glamorous cars. It really is an event not to be missed!