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GP Week : Issue 37
THE pace of BrawnGP’s new BGP001 car has created an unexpected twist at the end of the winter testing period, as the established order in the sport has been left amazed by the team’s apparent speed and reliability straight out of the box. Following the last-minute bailout of the former Honda Racing F1 Team by Team Principal Ross Brawn, the new Mercedes-engined BGP001 car was only ready in time to take part in the final two pre- season testing sessions of 2009. Setting top three times in its Brawn pace has rivals wo first two days in Barcelona, the BGP001 was quickest on the final two days of the test, and yesterday continued to astound the establishment by topping the first day of the very last pre- season test in Jerez. The BGP001 has run consistently and reliably in its five days of public testing so far, with Rubens Barrichello amassing 102 trouble-free laps in day one at Jerez to add to the 427 tours amassed by himself and Jenson Button in Barcelona last week. With the BrawnGP team concentrating on reliability, race sims and putting mileage on the car, the BGP001 has surpassed the expectations of rivals and critics alike. Rubens Barrichello believes that BrawnGP can be the surprise of the year. “I believe in myself and Jenson being top of the list among the drivers – although I can see plenty of good drivers in Formula One – and the team did a fantastic job to produce a good car,”he told the Official Formula 1 Website. “Right now, all I say would (only) mean that I would put myself under pressure for the first races. All I can confirm is that it is a good car, that it is a good engine, it is a good group and I think we will be the surprise of the year. “The car is competitive and although the team changed name, we’ve learned a lot from the mistakes we made last year. Now we are a very well prepared group and I wish that will show in results.” While the team itself is trying to keep expectations in check, its rivals have made their feelings over its competitiveness clear. Both Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso have described the