Tous Avec Jules #17
Sochi 2014
Russian Grand Prix
What shall we call the new Honda team?
News
What shall we call the new Honda team?
Posted By:   |  28 Feb 2009   |  3:01 pm GMT  |  51 comments

Honda F1 team looks like it has been saved by a management buyout headed by Ross Brawn and now it needs to be renamed and rebranded. So what shall it be called?

If we had a bit more time we could propose to the BBC that they do a reality game show to find a name, along the lines of the ones where they find a lead actor for Oliver or Sound of Music. Graham Norton could come flouncing on to our screens on a Saturday night to host it, with Bernie and Max as the gnarly old judges.

It’s a clean sheet of paper really, they could come up with anything, within reason. I remember a few years back when David Richards was put in charge of BAR by the parent company British American Tobacco. He conducted a name finding exercise with focus groups and all that carry-on and the winner was “Pure Racing”. It’s a nice sentiment but not a very punchy name for a racing team. And it wouldn’t have sat well with a title sponsor name alongside.

There’s no point reviving an old name like Lotus or Brabham or Tyrrell because you should never go backwards in life and those great names had their day. This is not it.

One innovative approach would be for Brawn to sell naming rights to the team, of course, like Arsenal did with the Emirates Stadium, but it was only the stadium that got named, not the team. It would be quite a novel approach to sell the team name to the highest bidder and it would give them a sensational return on investment. But you’d have to be sure they were in it for the long haul, because you couldn’t go changing the name of the every three to five years.

Funnily enough Emirates were looking at a sponsorship with Honda when the plug got pulled and I’ve heard that there is some Middle Eastern money involved in this deal.

These days a sports team is a brand. Think of football teams like Manchester United or Liverpool or the Chicago Bulls basketball team. It’s a huge merchandising and branding operation, built around the name and so the name has to be right. There is a suggestion that he may be lining up to call it Brawn Racing and has registered some domain names with that title. Presumably that would mean that this year’s car, powered by the Mercedes engine would be called the RB01, same name coding as Red Bull uses.

Teams have generally either been named after the owner (McLaren, Williams, Tyrrell, or the company which owns them (Benetton, Honda, Toyota). A third way is teams like Pacific and Spirit and FORCE, with neutral sounding nothing names. I really hope that Ross doesn’t go down that route, but Brawn Racing isn’t great either.

So what shall they be called? If I were in Ross’ shoes I would call the team “Speed F1″ or “Speed Racing”. That’s the best I can come up with after ten minutes reflection on a Saturday lunchtime. What ideas do you have?

Tomorrow we’ll take a look at what colour the cars should be…

Featured News
MORE FROM JA ON F1...
Share This:
Posted by:
Category:
Tags:
51 Comments
  1. A.K. says:

    Clearly they should name themselves after the owner and seek title sponsorship either from a well-known Welsh brewery or a German electrical appliance manufacturer, leaving us with either “Brains Brawn F1″ or “Braun Brawn F1″.

  2. guy says:

    As it has mercedes enigines how about ‘My other car is a mclaren’.

  3. Colin Bishop says:

    At the risk of sounding corny how about Phoenix Mercedes 001, for the new car. Colours could be green and grey, purely because no-one else is using them. Whatever they call themselves I for one cannot wait to see Jenson back in the groove and with a Mercedes power plant what could be better for another British driver.

  4. James Allen says:

    JA writes: That reminds me of those bumper stickers you used to see. I once saw one in Los Angeles which said “My other car went up my nose”

  5. alex m says:

    I am not sure it should be called, but without making a McMeal of it, I think many would have preferred the order ‘without Fries’ ….

    Good luck to Ross, Jenson & all.

  6. Mike Sheppard says:

    I think the biggest trick Bernie has missed is in allowing the big old team names to slip. You’ve dismissed reviving Tyrrell, Lotus and Brabham for example but can you imagine the FA letting go of Liverpool, Manchester United or Arsenal? All three have had significant ownership changes in recent years. My club Manchester City too (and look too at the various levels City have played at even in the last 10 years), hardly a sucess story but the brand has remained strong.

    In recent years I don’t think anybody save Mario Thiessen has cared to think what will happen when the manufacturers depart. Why Mario? Well, my suspicion is that he deliberately set out to name the BMW team BMW-Sauber to ensure that the Sauber name lived on to eventually become a valuable sell-on, an identity for the team for when inevitably BMW pull out of F1.

    The F1 business model is flawed. It does not consider what happens when the manufacturers withdraw. If we’d have had for example Tyrrell-Honda (as we could have had, had Craig Pollock not decided to discard 40 years of heritage), I suspect that for Ross Brawn and co putting together a business plan to seek financial assistance would have been an easier task (and just think of all those gorgeous cars Ross could line up in his reception!).

  7. Charlie F1 says:

    How about ‘Brackley F1′ ? Anyway good luck to them, I for one hope to see Jens up there wsith Lewis very soon.

  8. Mike says:

    saw on SpeedTV.com that it would be called ‘Brawn Sport’. not sure I like that, sounds a bit like a cereal … I personally would like them to revive the Lotus name, pure fever! How about black and gold colours…just a dream…
    Senna…..

  9. F1 Boston Fan says:

    - They should definitely sell the name to some corporation. It’s such a good idea to raise funds. Imagine, for instance, that Pepsi decides it needs more presence. It coughs up 50 million quid for the team to be called “Pepsi Racing”. The team doesn’t care what it’s called, so long as they have the money. Pepsi gets lot of coverage (from the back of the field?) and the team gets their funds. It sounds silly, but remember that Kingfisher is pasted along the side of Force India because alcohol advertising is banned in India.

  10. Andy says:

    BRD – Brawn Racing Developments,
    BRS – Brawn Racing Soloutions,

    Both sound nice, theyre is a certian ring of BRM about them however different enough to look foward rather than back.

  11. Michael says:

    Honda Rejects Racing

  12. George says:

    Hopefully they wont go with anything ‘____ sport’, it sounds a bit tacky. Brackley f1 I think is the best sounding name put forward so far.

  13. Lucas says:

    The French Press, followed by the Brazilian Press are betting on “Brawn Racing“, which, by coincidence had an Internet domain registered few days ago by someone that worked for BAR and Honda, Caroline McGrory.

  14. Lee Grant says:

    I’m with Andy & Lucas.

    Brawn…something or using Ross’ initials

    I guess they’ll get sticky if they just call it Brawn because of Braun!

  15. Michael Wilcox says:

    Boston – Are you sure? I always believed that Kingfisher referred to Kingfisher Airlines, hence ‘Fly Kingfisher’ on the sidepods of the VJM01. Mallya is Chairman for the India airline.

    I think there are issues with reviving a name from the past without a really good reason, for example some modern connection to the new ownership. These teams have failed for some reason or another – there are branding issues with this which won’t bode well with advertisers.

    I agree with James that it would be disappointing for them to be named something along the lines of ‘neutral sounding nothing names.’ This strikes me as somewhat pretentious, and looking at James’ examples is hardly inspiring – what was the last we heard of Pacific, for example?

    [ Note to All: You may not have noticed but you can now post a "reply" to each other's comments. I hope it will make dialogue easier. Look for the link at the top of the comment -- Moderator ]

  16. beflox says:

    Wow. What an excellent piece of journalism that was James.

    1. Tom says:

      ha, great idea!

  17. F1 Boston Fan says:

    Michael: VJM is chairman of the beer company and the airline. Putting “Fly Kingfisher” is an advertisement for both franchises. Because alcohol advertising is banned in India, he can’t outright put “Drink Kingfisher” but it utilizes the F1 platform to convey his brand in the growing Indian F1-watching population.

  18. john g says:

    brawn race machines (or BRM for short) [ Forgive the cheesy comeback, John G, but might this mean they could claim the sound effect too? "Brrrrmmm!" -- Moderator ]

  19. LMW says:

    Name: BF1 – this can be interpreted as Brawn F1, or Brackley F1;
    Colour: British Racing Green

  20. Someone up above mentioned Pepsi as a possible “title sponsor” for the revived team, well I read on the BBC’s 606 forum that the new title sponsor is a global brand and also that the new livery would be largly blue… I’m now hoping for Pepsi as title sponsor…

    Pepsi Max Brawn Racing…

    or going with the idea of selling off the naming rights…

    Pepsi Max Racing…

  21. Artorwar says:

    Team Pit Wall Banana. Putting the potassium back in the planned stops.

  22. Michael says:

    Team Milk Marketing Board

    1. gareth price says:

      If they don’t go down the sponsored name route, then this would be excellent. It’s two syllables (Brawn is horrible whether with F1 or Racing), It’s relevant and it would pay homage to the whole team not just one person (great though he is!)

  23. Tom says:

    Selling the naming rights seems so obvious after reading that. Good call, sir.

    It’s the way it’s going – football “at the Emirates” or “from the Reebok” (and rugby at the new Lansdowne Road, named after a mobile network. Can’t remember which, this brand awareness takes a while to sink in).

    Only works for new venues though – “the Jungle” wherever that was, or the “Brit Oval” sound like something that rhymes with Brit. And in F1 renaming a team has always implied ownership – as in Red Bull or Spyker – are there rules about commercial team names?

    In anticipation of the “car colour” debate, it seems only mobile companies can afford it right now – maybe T Mobile will step in and paint the cars pink.

  24. Jason C says:

    ‘Brawn F1′ doesn’t sound very good to me right now, but it can be built on and at least there’s a legitimate reason to call it that. Imagine the first time people heard ‘Williams’, or ‘Ferrari’ used as the name of a team: both are pretty common names – imagine ‘smith racing’. ‘McLaren’ doesn’t count as the name was already well known in the sport.

    Time will tell whether whatever name they choose for this season sticks, and if it’s ‘Brawn’ then it will grow into the fabric of the sport just as other names have. I have heard ‘Brackley F1′ mentioned as a possibility somewhere else too. I don’t like it.

  25. david says:

    brawn doesn’t have enough syllables, you need at least two for a car name; lotus, tyrell, williams, mclaren, ferrari, bugatti, auto-union, bentley, beemer, “button in the brawn” doesn’t scan correctly.

    i heard the blue paint thing too, fyi: embratel’s logo is blue, and bruno was apparently seen poking about the factory last week.

  26. Peter says:

    BBB – Brawn’s Banana Bangers (Banger’s as in run down cars, not sausages)

  27. LoudHoward says:

    Brawn Racing really sounds horrible. Maybe they should go the Williams route. Brawn Engineering or Brawn Grand Prix Engineering. More suited to Ross I think.

    Theres also The Artist Formely Known As Honda Now Run By That Creepy Guy From Indiana Jones.

  28. Dave H says:

    “Team ReBrawn”
    Pretty apt i think!

  29. Raz says:

    As soon as we see some pics of it today, i’ll do some Photoshop renders of Possible Liveries..

    i’ll first try the Pepsi livery
    and maybe Emirates too

  30. Patrice Ici says:

    I thing Mr. Brawn, if reading this, will go for

    -Pitlane Bananas

  31. H ROBINSON says:

    Why not put it up for Auction on ebay, gives all the big banks another opportunity to lose money. ! ! !

  32. john g says:

    honda-pants?

  33. Ed H says:

    If I was in Ross’s shoes, I would call the team “Green F1″ or “Racing for Green” Or a personal Fave of mine: “Flawless F1″. to try and keep the enviromental message on the car, which is Important to keep so F1 doesn’t go off in the worng direction. Try a lot of initiatives for Greenness. or just “Flawless F1″ because the name is cool and the team needs to be flawless so it can improve it’s current image.

  34. Phil says:

    Team Redline F1 or Redline Racing F1 (the latter may be too similar sounding to RBR). It has a nice suggestion of the aim of maximum speed without stating the obvious or being ‘neutral’. Clearly the car publication with a similar name would have to not object to it too.

  35. rpaco says:

    I don’t see the point of all the wild speculation above, we shall just have to wait and see who the sponsor is. Should it turn out to be Pepsi (as I mentioned in jest in another thread about the car body livery along with Coke) then it would possibly not be the best idea to call it the Pepsi Max Team (PMT)

    So what has happened to Fry?

  36. john g says:

    rpaco: given that smily fry can normally be seen smiling his smile and giving happy comments to the press under pretty much any situation whilst at Honda, it looks like something may have made him grumpy as i’ve not heard an interview or seen his grin for over a week now. wonder what that could be?

    Ed H: don’t know if it was the chicken or the egg, but the whole earth dreams fiasco killed honda in the first place. i hope whoever takes control has well and truly learned a lesson there. F1 does not and should not exist to save the planet – the impact of 20 highly efficient cars racing around is vanishingly small in the big scheme. do not expect “Green F1″ to survive.

  37. James Allen says:

    JA writes: I’ll tell you what, Ross Brawn Racing would be better as he is always described using both his names and such is his track record and reputation, the full name would carry better than merely his surname, which sounds a bit like an electric shaver company.

  38. rpaco says:

    JA
    It could be RBR then, oops! :-)

  39. Sasquatsch says:

    There are rumours here in the Netherlands that Spyker (or a major shareholder) are involved in the buy-out, so why not bring the name Spyker back to the F1.

    Spyker F1 is my guess.

  40. James Allen says:

    JA writes: Or Ross Brawn Sport = RBS…double oops!

  41. Alastair says:

    Brawn Mercedes had a nice ring to it … but it will probably be called whoever the biggest sponsor is.

    Somebody has registered ‘Brawn Racing‘. According to the domain registrar BRAWNRACING.COM is listed to Caroline McGrory, a Honda F1 Director.

  42. Ben G says:

    There is one old name they could revive: BRM.
    Only this time, if you had to spell it out, it would be Brawn Racing Motors.

  43. Mike K says:

    How about BBB or 3B Racing? Brawn, Brains, and Brackley being the b’s if that gets too confusing! i could think up of some good logos as well!!! :)

  44. Darren says:

    I think Fibre would be a good name = F1 BRawn Engineering

  45. murray says:

    Sundown F1

  46. Tom says:

    (thanks to f1rejects.com for that link, by the way)

  47. Nick Caulfield says:

    or how about “Brawn Again” :-)

  48. Ed H says:

    It wasn’t the earth dreams idea that killed Honda: It was the rubbish car.

    I suppose we should ditch the enviromental thing and wait till the planet burns or the numerous tracks around the world become laden with fog and smoke. Richard Branson of the Virgin Group refuses to buy Honda because F1 needs to be more green. But of course, I suppose F1 is just an excuse for pollution then…

LEAVE A COMMENT

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Top Tags
SEARCH News
JA ON F1 In association with...
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer