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Brawn Racing announcement imminent?

NEWS STORY
05/03/2009

With the former Honda F1 team due to shake down its 2009 car tomorrow (Friday) ahead of next week's test at Barcelona, speculation is way past fever pitch.

It will be remembered that it was on Friday December 5 that the Honda Motor Company officially announced its intention to quit F1, and it is highly likely that three months to the day, on Friday March 6, Brawn Racing will emerge phoenix-like from the flames.

Word is that before next week's test at Barcelona, Honda Japan and the Brackley team wants everything official, confirmed and out in public, which, if nothing else, will mean an end to some of the more ludicrous speculation.

It is already certain that Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello will drive for the team, the Brazilian having visited the factory on Monday, even if many of those working there were unaware.

The mood at Brackley remains confused and to a certain extent bitter. Only a very, very small circle of people - perhaps a dozen or so, if that - appear to know what is really happening, leaving the remainder of the work force totally in the dark.

The workforce knows that the buy-out is going to mean major changes to the team, with between 300 and 350 people facing redundancy. To make matters worse, the redundancy package that will now be offered will be around 10 percent of what was available three months ago, thereby adding to the obvious resentment and anger on the shop floor. Essentially, many of those who have remained loyal to the team for the last three months will still face redundancy but with a fraction of the pay-off.

The fact that much of the information, or misinformation, available to the workforce about their team and its future comes from the internet and mainstream media will surely add to the bitterness.

Our sources claim that Nick Fry is currently on a skiing holiday, which either means he is no longer part of the Brackley team or merely a sign of how he feels about the ongoing situation. The general opinion is that he will be an equity partner.

No doubt, at yesterday's FOTA meeting in Geneva, Ross Brawn brought his fellow team bosses and team principals up to speed with regards the Brackley outfit, it's a pity that so many of those who have helped build the car remain in the dark.

Summing up: We shall be very surprised if all is not officially confirmed tomorrow (Friday), or at least before Monday's test gets underway. However, the bad feeling at Brackley is sure to spill out sooner or later. A messy situation that has been badly handled by all concerned.

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