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Rubens hopes to deliver

THE new Brawn team is emerging as the extraordinary pre-race favorite for the season-opening Australian Formula One Grand Prix, with experienced driver Rubens Barrichello confident he can deliver a victory on Sunday.

The Brawn team may be the only new team on the F1 grid this season and lacks the finances of established heavyweights such as Ferrari and McLaren, but it is bearing the fruit of the vast development work done by its previous owner Honda before it pulled out of the sport.

Brawn outperformed its rivals in preseason testing and is the unlikely favorite for the Sunday's race.

"We have only six days of testing behind us, so every prediction is a gamble," Barrichello said. "We keep our feet on the ground, even though we know we have a quick and reliable car. Melbourne could spring a surprise. We are the team that has shone most in testing, and I've come here with great confidence."

Barrichello and his teammate Jenson Button struggled last season because Honda chose to put the majority of its development funds into the 2009 car, preparing it for a raft of rule changes such as new aerodynamics regulations and the introduction of KERS.

"Up until now I've never had a good car to go for it," Barrichello said. "The Honda from the last two years was almost an insult. Now I have a truly competitive car, in a small yet high-quality team. We've spent four months at home to make developments, we knew where to change and what to fix. Now it's the right time to take it to the track and win. I can do it."


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