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Brawn delighted just to make grid

Ross Brawn
Brawn says Honda had other offers but chose eventually to accept his

Ross Brawn says he is relishing the start of the 2009 season for his newly-created Brawn GP team after his last-minute buyout of Honda.

But the former Ferrari technical director says that, amid the global financial crisis, just being on the grid is a success in itself.

"It will be a big challenge," he told BBC Sport. "But the fact we are there is a major achievement.

"It's been stressful but we've gathered together from the top management down."

Honda pulled out of Formula One in December because of the worldwide credit crunch, leaving the collapsed team to search desperately for a buyer.

With the start of the season fast approaching, Brawn, who joined the team at the start of the 2008 campaign, eventually came to an agreement to buy Honda out on 6 March.

"It's been very trying for the whole team," said Brawn, who has retained last year's drivers - Britain's Jenson Button and Brazilian veteran Rubens Barrichello - for the new season.

If the car is poor then we only have ourselves to blame

Brawn GP Ross Brawn

"It was trying for the staff because it wasn't possible to share everything with them and every day there would be a new rumour.

"We will have to see where we are when we get to Melbourne."

On the first day of a four-day test session - Brawn GP's first proper period of testing and the penultimate tests for all teams prior to the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on 29 March - Button ended fourth fastest at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona.

And on day two - where Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen dominated after clocking a best time of 1:20.314 after 55 laps onboard the F60 - Barrichello set the third fastest time overall after a total of 111 laps in the new BGP-001.

Asked about their prospects for the 2009 season, Brawn was more keen to outline the challenges that lie ahead for his team.

"We are obviously glad to be in the first race and I wouldn't have been able to say that a few weeks ago," he said.

"The issue will be building in reliability and building in the team performance.

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BBC Sport's Mark Wilkin

"The boys have only got this test to build in race simulations and pit-stop practice.

"Things can go wrong, but we're optimistic and if we can capitalise on the performance of the car, and the car looks good, then I think the team have got a future.

"If the car is poor then we only have ourselves to blame."

Brawn also confirmed that chief executive officer Nick Fry has not been marginalised after playing a vital role in helping the team onto the grid.

"Nick has been a key member of the team," he said.

"He retains his position as CEO and will be a vital member for the future."

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see also
'Lucky' Barrichello soothes Senna
10 Mar 09 |  Formula 1
Rubens Barrichello
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Testing times for all in Spain
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Button pleased with early testing
10 Mar 09 |  Formula 1
Toro Rosso last to unveil new car
09 Mar 09 |  Formula 1
Ex-Honda team 'seal F1 survival'
05 Mar 09 |  Formula 1
Brundle on Hamilton
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F1 form guide
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F1 ready for racing revolution
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Global crisis hits Renault team
16 Feb 09 |  Formula 1
Global crisis ends Honda F1 era
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