What a great result for British sport at Interlagos on Sunday. Don’t forget that Brawn, which was Honda last year and almost disappeared altogether over Christmas, is a British-owned team, staffed by British people almost exclusively.
It’s named after a British boss, piloted by a British driver, looked after by a British pit crew, designed by a (mostly) British tech team (there’s a wizard in there called Loic Bigois who’s actually French, but the lads he works with treat him like an honorary Brit) and it’s powered by a British engine. The V8 is badged as a Mercedes but it’s actually an Ilmor, made up the road from Brawn in Northampton.
When you look at what this team has achieved over the year, it’s no wonder Mercedes-Benz wants to buy a large chunk of it. Let’s hope when that happens that Brawn doesn’t sell it for a pittance, and that the team retains its British identity. It was great to see them celebrating after almost being laid off over the winter break – and what a faultless job the boys did in the pitstops on the weekend.
Another standout from Sunday’s race for me was Kamui Kobayashi, Toyota’s new driver. I liked his style – hard and slightly unfair, especially in the way he took out Nakajima – but I reckon he did enough to earn a full-time race seat next year.
While team-mate Jarno Trulli was trying to punch Adrian Sutil for no reason on the sidelines, Kobayashi just got on with the job of driving his F1 car damned fast, considering he’d never raced an F1 car before, nor been to this circuit.
Button said Kobayashi was ‘nuts’ after the race, and if ‘nuts’ is defending your position with utmost force, then Kamui is nuts alright. That was a pretty amazing performance and I hope he has the technical ability to match his race craft and raw speed.