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Ross Brawn predicts thrilling new Formula One season

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Brawn excited by new F1 season

By Ross Heaton
BBC Oxford

Mercedes GP team principal Ross Brawn admits the ingredients are all there for a thrilling year in Formula One.

Brawn masterminded success in the drivers' title for Jenson Button and ensured the constructors' title also went to his Brackley-based Brawn GP team in 2009.

The 55-year-old remains at the helm in his team's fresh incarnation of Mercedes GP and is reunited with F1 legend Michael Schumacher.

The return of the seven-time champion to motorsport's elite class is one of a number of reasons the new season is now eagerly anticipated by fans and competitors alike.

"It's probably one of the most exciting seasons for years," Brawn told BBC Oxford.

"Drivers have moved around, teams have moved around, we have been reborn as Mercedes GP and I think it is an incredibly exciting season ahead of us."

If we can give him the car, which is the important thing then I actually think he can repeat his success

Ross Brawn on Michael Schumacher

Drivers' champion Button parted company with Brawn in the close season to join fellow countryman Lewis Hamilton at McLaren.

The relationship between the two British drivers is set to come under intense scrutiny, and Brawn believes that is one of several intriguing pairings this year.

He said: "There are some fascinating battles within the teams. You have (Fernando) Alonso and (Felipe) Massa, Jenson and Lewis.

"We have got two new drivers in our team and Michael coming back is obviously wonderful for Formula One, definitely one of the most exciting prospects for years."

Schumacher was set to return to F1 towards the end of the last campaign as a replacement for injured Brazilian Felipe Massa at Ferrari.

That comeback was aborted because of neck problems for the 41-year-old but Brawn says the time is now right for him to take to the track again.

Brawn said: "I don't want to build up too much with Michael, but he is an iconic figure in Formula One. He is quite exceptional in what he has achieved.

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"If we can give him the car, which is the important thing, then I actually think he can repeat his success."

Engineers at the Mercedes GP factory in Brackley have been full of praise for the feedback provided by the German during testing.

"He has spent a lot of time here (in Brackley) and I think the people have really appreciated it because there is only so much we can do with the data we gather," added Brawn.

"Talking to the driver and having direct feedback from the driver is absolutely vital. He approaches things in a very calm, analytical, objective way which engineers appreciate."

With much of the pre-season spotlight on Schumacher, team-mate Nico Rosberg has escaped the full glare of the media attention at the team.

The 25-year-old has impressed Brawn in his approach to the technical development of the 2010 Mercedes car.

"Nico has not had a strong team-mate for a number of years. I think being alongside Michael is going to be great for Nico," Brawn said.



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see also
Top teams closely matched - Brawn
28 Feb 10 |  Formula 1
Ferrari team to beat - Schumacher
27 Feb 10 |  Formula 1
Schumacher rules out early wins
26 Feb 10 |  Formula 1
Brawn backs new F1 points system
04 Feb 10 |  Formula 1
Schumacher signs up for F1 return
23 Dec 09 |  Formula 1
Heidfeld named Mercedes reserve
04 Feb 10 |  Formula 1
Mercedes confirm Rosberg capture
23 Nov 09 |  Formula 1


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