Okehampton, Wednesday: F1 world championship leader Jenson Button says he is “amazed” that his boss, Brawn GP team principal Ross Brawn, was caught driving at over 100mph on a public road near Okehampton, Devon, this weekend.
The 54-year-old ex-Ferrari employee was 30mph over the speed limit when he was caught, but Button’s incredulity stems from the fact that Brawn was driving his team’s 2007 car – back when they were known as Honda – at the time.
“Honestly, I didn’t even know that car could go so fast,” Button commented. “I’m amazed that Ross has managed to find one of those cars that is still working, and actually drive it at a hundred.”
The “Earth Car,” as it was known for its horrible distinctive livery, intended to demonstrate the Japanese manufacturer’s “commitment” (no, seriously) to tackling climate change, was widely ridiculed in 2007 for not only being demonstrably slower than most of its competitors, but also struggling to keep up with Super Aguri, whose cars were based on the 2006 Honda.
Brawn was given one of these cars by Honda when they cut and ran from the sport at the end of 2008, and the team boss has taken to driving it around at night and weeping softly at the two wasted years for his former employers.
Thanks to a revamp in the British justice system, Brawn can expect a light penalty for the offence. His case will be heard at a magistrates’ court later in the week, where he will likely receive a fine or a token penalty. Punishments for speeding offences like this range from having to “drive through” his nearest petrol station on the next journey he takes with the car, to having to start his commute to work from a driveway ten doors further down the road than his actual house.
Button was later heard asking for the 2007 Honda back, “just in case” it was faster than his current Brawn.