The only constructor who can boast a 100% Championship success rate, Brawn GP was the phoenix that rose from the ashes of Honda’s withdrawal from Formula One in 2008. Former Honda, Ferrari and Benetton Technical Director Ross Brawn led a management buyout of the team and requested a name change from the ‘Honda Racing F1 Team’ to the ‘Brawn GP Formula One Team’. With the loss of Honda’s engines, Brawn had to find a new power unit and, though several manufacturers offered, it was a Mercedes-Benz engine that best fitted the car. Brawn retained Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello as their drivers, both of whom had been at Honda for the past three seasons.
The team had a perfect debut race in Australia, where Button and Barrichello qualified P1 and P2 before going on give Brawn a 1-2 finish; the last team to have had a 1-2 on their debut was Mercedes in 1954. The drivers continued their blistering start to the season in Malaysia, becoming the only new constructor to win their first two races since Alfa Romeo won the first ever World Championship Grands Prix in 1950 as Button again took victory. Button would go on to win four more of the next five races and would later clinch the Drivers’ Championship at the penultimate race in Brazil alongside the Constructors’ Championship. Barrichello finished third in the Drivers’ standings.
In total, Brawn GP, in their one and only season, claimed eight race victories, six further podiums, 172 Championship points, a Drivers’ Championship and a Constructors’ Championship.
The team would be purchased by Daimler AG in partnership with Aabar Investments after the season’s end and, thanks to the groundwork that Ross Brawn laid, the future Mercedes team would go on to dominate the turbocharged engine era.