Nick Fry out at Brawn GP? UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. Ross Brawn on Tuesday insisted Nick Fry retains his role as chief executive at the team formerly known as Honda.
In a management buyout, 2008 team boss Brawn assumed 100 per cent of the shares of the team, which has been renamed 'Brawn GP' in the wake of Honda's withdrawal.
Intense speculation has surrounded Fry's involvement in the buyout, with rumors suggesting the controversial figure may have been marginalized amid the shakeup.
But addressing the media at Barcelona on Tuesday, where Rubens Barrichello is testing the impressive BGP001 car, Brawn confirmed that 52-year-old Fry remains at work at Brackley.
"Nick has been a key member of the team," he said. "He retains his position as CEO and will be a vital member for the future.
"Nick's position hasn't changed, despite the speculation, and he has been a vital part of putting this all together."
Brawn also said his buyout was the only chance to save "the majority" of the 700 jobs of the British based team.
"There were no choices," he explained. "If the management group - because it is not just myself - had not taken this task on, there would be no team. Then all of the staff would have been made redundant."
Brawn revealed that the BGP001 is currently not equipped with a KERS system, and also that Mercedes-Benz was selected as engine supplier because its V8 unit fitted the chassis better than Ferrari's.
03/08/09 Amidst all the media hype surrounding the rising from the ashes of what was Honda of Brawn GP, little is still known about the fate of Nick Fry – the man who for much of the sale process was believed to be at the forefront of the management buy-out.
It is understood that Honda in Japan went somewhat cool on the idea of Fry leading the team after it was discovered that he had fabricated claims that major Brazilian oil company Petrobras would be willing to sponsor the Brackley-based outfit by way of bank-rolling reigning GP2 Series runner-up Bruno Senna's graduation to Formula 1.
Following Petrobras' public denial of any such commitment, the Englishman appeared to shrink increasingly into the background of dealings as erstwhile team principal Ross Brawn took charge, and it was consequently little surprise that the new team has been re-christened in his name.
However, mystery continues to conceal what – if anything – remains for Fry at Brawn GP. His name did not crop up even once in the press release issued to mark the birth of the new squad on Friday morning, and the 52-year-old was the first to leave the landmark Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) meeting in Geneva during the week immediately after reading out his prepared statement, refusing to take questions from the floor and performing, reports British newspaper The Guardian, 'a remarkable disappearing act' that 'did nothing to dispel the growing impression that he has been marginalized at the team he once led'.
Fry has often been criticized in F1 since his arrival in the top flight in late 2004, replacing Prodrive chairman David Richards at the helm of what was then BAR-Honda. He was roundly panned in early 2007, after Honda failed to procure a title sponsor and as a smokescreen was forced to run the disastrous 'Earth Dreams' campaign instead – a situation that continued into 2008, marking two of the least successful seasons in the Japanese manufacturer's grand prix history. Crash.net