David Brabham, Former F1 driver and son of 3 time world F1 champion Jack Brabham is rumoured to be in talks with Bernie Ecclestone, the former owner of the Brabham F1 team, about bringing the historic name back to F1.
The Australian team were founded in 1960 Jack Brabham and later raced under Bernie Ecclestone’s stewardship. Known for it’s innovative engineering solutions in formula one, particularly when Gordon Murray become chief designer. The Fan car, triangular side pods, pit stops for fuel, low profile chassis to name a few.
The Brabham team won two constructors’ and 4 drivers’ titles in the 1960’s and 1980’s. After, the once mighty name faded into obscurity by the late eighties and disappeared altogether after the 1992 Hungarian Grand Prix with Damon Hill at the wheel.
In 2009, a German automotive supply company, Formtech, claimed it controlled the Brabham team name and filed an official entry for the 2010 Formula 1 season.
But the Brabham family hit back, launching legal action to “protect the family name”. Jack Brabham’s son David, a sports car racing specialist who contested 30 Grands Prix in the 1990’s, said: “Right now this is a very sensitive issue. But, yes, there is the possibility to bring the team back”
David Brabham continued: “For now, we have a predicament behind the scenes, involving the rights of the name. It’s 98 percent resolved, and when it is 100 percent we’ll see what we can do.”
In 2014 David Brabham launched an ambitious crowd-funding campaign, Project Brabham, with the aim of competing initially in the FIA WEC before branching out into other forms of motorsport, including Formula E and Formula 1.
David had high ambition for the project claiming that Brabham Racing will initially compete in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship, which included the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours. The ultimate dream is to bring this same model to Formula 1 and potentially other exciting series such as the FIA Formula E Championship.
In the end the project failed to attract the levels of corporate investment required to proceed and has been in limbo since it’s launch in 2014.
Now the rumours appear to be that former owner Ecclestone is in the market to buy Force India with the aim to potentially rename it Brabham. US publication Autoweek asked David Brabham about the rumour, he said, “Brabham is a brand with over 69 years of racing heritage and it is our intention to see the name back on track.
“Since Project Brabham was launched, we have received a lot of enquiries from different parties who have expressed an interest in licensing the name and we are evaluating a number of options. We have no further comment.”
Previous attempts to revive the name have ended badly but this time could we see David endorse such a move with Ecclestone? Let us know if you like the idea of the historic Brabham name back in F1.