Currently reading: Honda F1 becomes Brawn GP
Ross Brawn takeover saves Jenson Button's 2009 season

Honda's Formula One operation has been saved by a takeover engineered by the team's technical director Ross Brawn.

Brawn confirmed last night that he would be assuming control of the team, which Honda decided to sell off or close at the end of last season because of the global economic crisis.

The team's drivers, Briton Jenson Button and Brazilian veteran Rubens Barrichello, will be retained for 2009, and their cars will be powered by Mercedes-Benz engines. The team's challenger for this season, called BGP 001 and painted in white, black and yellow, conducted a shakedown test at Silverstone this morning.

"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," said Brawn.

"Firstly, 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.

"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."

Brawn GP has yet to release any details about how it may restructure its operation at Brackley. There have already been reports that Button has taken a 50 per cent pay cut to retain his seat, and that up to half the staff at Brackley could be laid off with redundancy packages at a fraction of those that were offered at the end of 2008.

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