I want to believe: The return of Bernie and Brabham

Unraced 2010 - 2019

It seems last year during the summer period I have been sleeping, or partying too much of course. There were speculations all over in the media of Bernie Ecclestone bringing Brabham back on the grid by taking over the Sahara Force India Formula One team!? So how serious was the media with their speculations? We all know there is some truth behind this. So Bernie what happened?

Of course, Bernie did not answer my calls pretending he was working his ass off, so I had to do my own investigation. To do so I had to go back years ago when Force India owner Vijay Mallya was just a businessman with too much money in his wallet. He once bought the JordanGPMidlandSpyker team during the 2007 season, just to create his dream Force India. What many did not expect is that the team became very competitive. However, during the years Vijay seems to have some issues with the tax office in India. In April 2017, he was arrested, on request by the Indian authorities, in the United Kingdom for fraud.

It has to be said this happened a lot in Formula One’s past, people getting arrested for naughty things. In the aftermath of Vijay’s arrest it seems the speculations started, Vijay was to sell his Formula One team in order to keep it on the grid. It was said that Vijay would sell the team for 250million dollar.

Some unknown weird American consortium was ready to pay 200million dollar for the team. However Uncle Bernie appeared in the story.(He mentioned a couple of times he wasn’t done with the Formula One) He would pay the last 50million dollar and bring the Brabham name back to the grid, by re-branding the Force India team into  Team Brabham. To good to be true you would think?

Well as said, Uncle Bernie was to busy by ignoring my calls, so I did some of my own research and I remembered I spoke with David Brabham about the return of the Brabham Team, separately from this story, and he said he would love to but it would never happen. The finance is too difficult the first few years when you enter the Formula One.  You can say the idea is there but what if you could have Bernie as your financial backer and as team principal? We will probably never know. As happened with the mysterious announcements of the China F1 Racing Team Ltd., the Brabham rumour left as fast as it came.