Gli ingegneri devono aver fatto un errore di calcolo!

( – Jerez de la Frontera in Spain in March 2009: Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull RB5 set the fastest time of 1:19.055 minutes during the first major Formula 1 group test, ahead of Toyota driver Timo Glock. About 1,750 kilometers further north in Brackley, England, this news causes shock: The employees of the new Brawn racing team begin to question their entire project.

Behind the former Honda factory team, there are several nerve-wracking weeks of uncertainty at this time, after Honda suddenly announced their withdrawal in December 2008. However, team principal Ross Brawn continued, took over the team and led it independently.

Now there is a finished car. But just three weeks before the start of the 2009 season, Brawn begins to have major doubts.

In the multi-part Disney documentary “Brawn: The Impossible Formula 1 Story,” Team Principal Brawn explains, “We didn’t know what we had done wrong. Our simulations had shown that we would be one to 1.5 seconds faster than the competition.”

The initial reaction: self-doubt. Long-time Formula 1 engineer Jock Clear said, “We were very skeptical and told the engineers, ‘You must have miscalculated! We are not two seconds faster than everyone else!'”

This creates mixed feelings at Brawn in Brackley. “The news spread around the factory,” says team principal Brawn. The staff asked themselves, “Have we made such a massive mistake? Or do we have something really special ahead of us?”

So Brawn has his engineers take another lap and double-check all the data. The result, according to Clear, is that “We are still two seconds faster!”

At that moment, the Brawn team realizes that a sensation is about to happen. However, at this stage, the Brawn BGP 001 has only completed a short shakedown and has not undergone real tests. The question remains, especially on how the car would harmonize with the Mercedes engine, for which it was never originally designed as the Honda project.

Then comes the first Formula 1 group test with Brawn involvement from March 9 to 12, 2009 in Barcelona. The Brawn race car not only becomes a long-runner with six and a half completed race distances, but also sets a trend: Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button finish the tests in P1 and P2 on the timing sheet, over eight tenths ahead of Williams driver Nico Rosberg in third place.

Therefore, if there were any doubts about the performance of the BGP 001, they are quickly dispelled. The Brawn fairy tale begins.

After a highly turbulent off-season with only one-third of the testing days and kilometers compared to BMW-Sauber, Ferrari, McLaren, Toyota, and Williams, Brawn heads to the season opener in Australia in 2009. With the so-called double diffuser in the car’s rear, a “loophole” in the Formula 1 Technical Regulations.

The rest is motorsport history: Brawn achieves a double victory at the Australian Grand Prix with Button and Barrichello and ends a dramatic Formula 1 season by winning both World Championships.

This success story is unique, as Brawn accomplishes all this in its only year of existence: in 2009, Mercedes buys the team and continues to operate it as the Mercedes works team, currently the most successful team of the Turbo Hybrid era since 2014.