Honda announced that Ross Brawn will be joining the team for 2008 as their team principle. Nick Fry to remain as Chief Executive.
While the glossy outer-coating of this seems like a great deal for Honda, Jenson and Rubens; I canâ€™t help but wonder if Ross knew a little more on the Stepney-gate issue than we are lead to believe. After all, it was Honda that Nigel used his pilfered technical data was being to woo and Ross was among the three people to be rumored as in negotiations with Honda. Forming a veritable Honda dream-team if you will.
As Nick so aptly put it, Ross needs no introduction but did Ross know that Nige was shopping technical data and the promise of Coughlan, Stepney and Brawn as the package? Surely he was in communication with Nige. Also, it will be interesting to see if Luca or Jean will have anything to say about Rossâ€™s move. If they feel Ross was involved in the issue and they failed to retain his services; the gloves are off. I doubt it is any secret that they would have liked to have retained Ross at Ferrari but was Jean willing to step aside as principle?
The entire Ferrari change from Monza 2 years ago have been odd. Schumiâ€™s lack of interest in Luca. Jeanâ€™s obvious body language about the whole issue. Rossâ€™ departure and Nigelâ€™s errant behavior. While Macca and Renault are taking heat for possessing other teams technical data, Ferrari seem to be experiencing a moment of fragmenting corers on their otherwise rock of a team. I know they won the title but if you put the pieces together, it seems odd. Ferrari not willing to place Ross in the obvious role he has grown into is just another odd happenstance in the otherwise solid team. Jean and Luca have some things going on over there that are starting to seem wonky.
All that aside, here is to Honda for making a good move. The question now is: is Fernando Alonso far behind Ross in signing for Honda? With Renault in potential litigation and exclusion for 2008, Fernando needs to make sure he is joining a team that needs a clear number one champ, has resources to win and will be void of any season damning controversy. Honda may just fit the bill.