Brackley, Thursday: It has been confirmed today that former Honda team principal and later CEO Nick Fry will be retained as part of the new Brawn GP operation, which rose from the ashes of the fallen Japanese team last week. Fry will join team principal Ross Brawn at the outfit in 2009, taking on the position of Chief Scapegoat.

Inane: Ex-Honda scapegoat Nick Fry
Inane: Ex-Honda scapegoat Nick Fry

Fry’s role at the team, which began in 2004 after David Richards left what was then BAR, generally consisted of grinning inanely at the television cameras while a board of directors far away in Japan meddled with the structure and ethos of the team, massively succeeding in turning a potentially competitive outfit into embarrassing backmarkers within just a few seasons. The appointment of Brawn for team principal in 2008 saw Fry sidelined, though he was still inexplicably blamed for the team’s continuing failure to impress.

Fry today admitted he was relieved that his job had been saved.

“It’s both a pleasure and an honour to continue working with the team,” he told reporters. “I have great experience and skill at taking enormous amounts of blame for the continued dire underperformance of the former Honda team, much of which was in reality out of my hands, and am happy to continue in my role so as to deflect attention from the massive cock-ups that are bound to go on here in the next few years.”

As well as fronting the team’s revolutionary Excuses Division, which is intended to provide a public face for politely taking all the abuse hurled in the direction of Brawn GP during its time in F1, Fry is understood to have taken on other roles as well – including heading the department formerly known as the Office of Nodding and Feigning Empathy, set up in 2007 to deal with Jenson Button’s frequent childish outbursts about how awful the car he was driving appeared to be.

“This is all part of Brawn GP’s strategy for streamlining our operations,” Fry said. “Hopefully Jenson won’t have so much to complain about this year.”