Model produced by: Paul’s Model Art (Minichamps)
Driver: Jenson Button (Great Britain)
Team: Brawn Mercedes
Car: Brawn BGP001
Results: 6 wins, 9 podiums, 4 poles, 2 fastest laps
Ten teams participated in the Championship after several rule changes were implemented by the FIA to cut costs to try and minimise the effect of the global financial crisis. There were further changes to try to improve the on-track spectacle with the return of slick tyres, changes to aerodynamics and the introduction of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) presenting some of the biggest changes in Formula One regulations for several decades.
Honda team announced in December 2008 they would be leaving Formula One with immediate effect. After a Winter of uncertainty, it was confirmed on 5 March 2009 that the team would compete in the 2009 season as Brawn GP, with Mercedes engines, following a management buy-out, and would retain the services of both Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello as drivers. On first testings, their white car BGP001 with no sponsors was by far the fastest – straight out of the factory.
A major source of controversy throughout the winter season were the rear diffusers. Three teams –Toyota, Williams and Brawn GP –launched their cars with a diffuser that uses the rear crash structure in order to generate additional downforce. These designs were quickly protested, and just days after the cars were unveiled, rival teams asked the FIA for a clarification on the matter. The FIA later declared the cars legal.
The season was split into two halves, with the newly-formed Brawn GP dominating the first half of the season with successive wins, partially due to the team’s double diffuser design, while the latter half saw an improved showing from Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren as they adapted to the new regulations. Jenson Button was able to capitalise on Brawn’s advantage in the early rounds winning six of the first seven races, to give him his first World Championship. Sebastian Vettel (now Red Bull) and Button’s team-mate Rubens Barrichello were his main challengers over the season, winning six races between them to finish in second and third respectively.
At the end of the season, Ross Brawn and his management team sold Brawn GP team to the engine supplier, Mercedes-Benz. The team who barely survived and only existed one season took both titles. A script for Hollywood.