Brawn GP; Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Antony HerbertAnalyst IIINovember 16, 2009

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 01:  Jenson Button of Great Britain and Brawn GP drives on his way to finishing third in the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit on November 1, 2009 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

There is no denying that as the years progress sport becomes more business orientated. As a result it either becomes a profitable organisation that prospers or it slides on a continuous decline of bankruptcy until it ceases to exist.

The sport of snooker sadly looks like edging towards the latter but most sports are successful in their revenue.

Yet many have regarded the gradual switch to commercialism a damaging occurrence. We are regularly subjected to the wealthy pay checks of professionals and teams. This seemingly goes hand in hand with the media commentating on the effort produced by these high earners. Questions have been asked as to whether footballers for example aim to increase their bank balance and luxurious lifestyle as opposed to increasing their potential and long term legendary status.

After all why would a premier league footballer need to play to his full potential when he earns £100 grand a week?

The long term aspirations are of course what we expect and want the players to be fighting for, but sometimes we cannot help but query their intentions.  

The financial slant to the sport also gives opportunity to those with the cash to plough into their ‘business’ the easier allowance to excel and dominate over those who are not as fortunate.

The Big Four in the premiership is a good example of this. With the revenue the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal bring in, they are able to capitalise on the smaller teams who have the inspiration just not the talent or funds to compete.

Formula 1 of all the sports indeed has to pivot on a business cycle. With all of teams, drivers, engine and tyre providers in such a competitive and lucrative competition it requires that money becomes a substantial foundation to all this.

The FIA has in some ways attempted to put an end to this with the budget cap, yet this is not a complete resolution.

Sometimes you have to wonder whether from a fans point of view, decisions regarding money can have a detrimental effect on the sport. Our viewpoint can often be destroyed or at the very least damaged due to decisions that are based on financial rather than moral aspects.


Today we are met with the news that Brawn Grand Prix are no more. The fairytale has ended for the most successful debut team who gave triumph over adversity a new image. They gave hope to all those in life that have to climb mountains to achieve excellence. They made it possible for such accomplishments to be reached.

Their parting from the sport sadly is simple; the big boys have taken over.

Mercedes have brought seventy-five percent of the team and whilst Brawn will retain a small percentage of the share holding, their name will change, as will the make up and driver line up of the team.

Button’s inability to accept lower than the pay he wanted has left him with a probable move to Mclaren which will undoubtedly end any idea future victories alongside the faster Lewis Hamilton.

So it is Nico Rosberg and Nick Heidfeld who are expected to fill the two driver seats at the rebranded ‘Mercedes Grand Prix’ and head the outfit into a new era.

Such a transformation that ironically echoes last year’s birth of Brawn is excruciating for the Formula 1 neutral.

Brawn GP was created by one man, Ross Brawn, who had a vision to recreate a fallen Honda team and rebuild the reputation of its two drivers. Such an overwhelming over achievement of this vision will almost certainly garner the team various awards, including the well sought after ‘Team of the year’ at the BBC Sports Personality Awards. They will also go down in the history books as a team who went in with a bang, but now also a team who departed when a more long term and intriguing journey was ahead.

Would they have become a massive one hit wonder? Would they have actually continued to portray the absolute brilliance of their first season in the sport and build an inspirational legacy for others to aspire to?

Some will say they went out on a high; others will demean the loss of their chance to build upon such an amazing opening innings.

Mercedes GP will no doubt achieve good levels of success. With Rosberg and Heidfeld at the wheel and a decent car beneath them they would be capable of multiple podiums and possibly race wins as arguably both are more capable than Button.

But if their inclusion is at the expense of a debutant team who redefined the sport, Formula 1 will be seen in a highly negative light.

The Brawns after all ended the expected domination of the richer teams and were vastly applauded for this. For them to lose their name to a company who we already know are prosperous and capable is all too predictable. It shatters any illusion we may have been given in the past twelve months that anything and everything can happen. With Mercedes as opposed to Brawn at the helm the story would be more set in stone.

Brawn’s decision to sell to Mercedes will also leave us in astonishment. It is like witnessing a loving mother give up her baby for adoption. It just does not seem right.

The sport itself will move on, the seasons will progress confidently, yet for fans who will always want to support the underdog, a part of their excited spectatorship will be forever dented.