News that a British-based Brabham team could be lining up on the F1 grid in 2010 has not been universally welcomed after the family bearing the name pointed out that the public announcement was the first they had heard of it.
German businessman Franz Hilmer, who bought Super Aguri’s assets after it went out of business, holds the rights to the team name and has announced that he has used it to lodge a 2010 entry with the FIA in partnership with former staff of the team including technical director Mark Preston.
Hilmer plans to link up with Formtech, based in Leafield in Oxfordshire, to run under the cost-cap regulations next year.
The team’s technical director would be Preston, who had a similar role for Super Aguri and the team claims to have already secured three-quarters of the necessary sponsorship.
Hilmer said: “The Brabham Grand Prix team has the pleasure to announce its application as a cost-cap Formula 1 Team for the FIA 2010 Formula 1 World Championship.
“We appreciate the FIA rules for cost-capped F1 teams and are convinced that the budget limitation is a contemporary obligation, and will effect a revitalisation of the Formula 1 World Championship.
“We would be happy to enter into Formula 1 as a cost-cap team and to meet the challenge under the new rules.”
The only problem is, he doesn’t seem to have mentioned anything about it to either Sir Jack Brabham, at 83 the oldest surviving Formula One World Champion, or his son David, who competes under the Australian flag in sportscars.
The family, who own the company Brabham Enterprises Ltd, have put out the following statement: “Sir Jack Brabham and the Brabham family have expressed their surprise at the recent news reporting that an entry has been submitted for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship by Formtech with the intention of operating as Brabham Grand Prix Limited.
“The family would like to make it clear that they are in no way involved with Brabham Grand Prix Limited and received no consultation regarding the company’s plans to resurrect their historic name in Formula One.
“The family is taking legal advice and will take necessary steps to protect their name, reputation and its goodwill.”