Ross Brawn

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Ross Brawn

Ross Brawn at the 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix.
BornRoss James Brawn
(1954-11-23) 23 November 1954 (age 58)
Manchester, Lancashire, UK
NationalityUnited Kingdom British
OccupationTeam principal of Mercedes AMG 2010–Present
Net worth£100M
Partner(s)Jean Brawn
 
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Ross Brawn

Ross Brawn at the 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix.
BornRoss James Brawn
(1954-11-23) 23 November 1954 (age 58)
Manchester, Lancashire, UK
NationalityUnited Kingdom British
OccupationTeam principal of Mercedes AMG 2010–Present
Net worth£100M
Partner(s)Jean Brawn

Ross James Brawn OBE (born 23 November 1954) is an English motorsport engineer and Formula One team principal. He has worked for a number of Formula One teams, serving as the technical director of the championship-winning Benetton and Ferrari teams. He took a sabbatical from the sport in 2007 but returned to F1 for the 2008 season as Team Principal of Honda.[1] He was the owner of the Brawn GP team, which acquired the Honda team in early 2009, and won the Formula One Constructors and Drivers Championships in that year. Mercedes bought into the team in November 2009, making Brawn Team Principal & Co-Owner with Nick Fry. In 2011 Brawn & Fry sold the remaining shares to Mercedes Benz. Brawn remains as Team Principal with Fry as CEO.

Contents

Early life and family

Brawn was born in south Manchester, Lancashire (now part of Greater Manchester) England. He became interested in engineering during his early years, often visiting Belle Vue Stadium to watch various forms of motor racing.[2] He moved south aged 11 as his father took job near Reading and subsequently he attended Reading School in Reading, Berkshire.

In the early 1970s he was taken on as a trainee engineer by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority at its Atomic Energy Research Establishment in Harwell, Oxfordshire, where he studied instrumentation.

Brawn lives in Stoke Row, near Henley-on-Thames. In his spare time he enjoys gardening, fishing and listening to music. In 2006 Brawn received an honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering (DEng) from Brunel University for his services to motorsport. On 18 November 2011, Brawn received a second honorary doctorate from Heriot-Watt University.[3]

He has a holiday home in the Trevose Head area of Cornwall.[citation needed]

Career

His career in motorsport began in 1976 when he joined March Engineering in the town of Bicester as a milling machine operator. Soon afterwards he joined their Formula 3 racing team as a mechanic. Brawn was hired by Sir Frank Williams in 1978 as a machinist for the newly formed Williams team. He quickly moved up through the ranks, working in the R&D department and as an aerodynamicist in the team's wind tunnel.[4]

After brief stints with the now-defunct Haas Lola and Arrows F1 teams, in 1989 Brawn moved to the Jaguar sports car racing division, and was lead designer on the Jaguar XJR-14 which won the 1991 World Sportscar Championship.[5][4]

Benetton

Later in 1991 Brawn returned to F1 as technical director of the Benetton team, helping it win consecutive World Drivers' Championships in 1994 and 1995 with Michael Schumacher, and to take the World Constructors' Championship in 1995. Brawn was credited by much of the specialist press with being an important part of these championships, particularly in terms of devising race strategy.

Ferrari

Ross Brawn in the pit lane at the 2003 US GP.

Ross Brawn followed Schumacher to the Ferrari F1 team in late 1996, at the end of Schumacher's first year with the team. Again he was renowned for his race strategies as the team began to challenge for the championship from 1997, despite the superiority of the Williams cars that year and the McLarens from 1998 onwards. After these "rebuilding" years, he (as Ferrari technical director) helped Ferrari regain glory when the team won the Constructors' Championship in 1999, the first of six consecutive titles. The Brawn-guided Scuderia also powered Schumacher to five consecutive drivers' titles, from 2000 to 2004. Brawn's contributions to this unprecedented string of titles has led many to label him as a vital member of the Ferrari "dream team" along with Schumacher, team principal Jean Todt and chief designer Rory Byrne. In 2005 Ferrari never quite found form, and had to relinquish the title to Renault, and Schumacher passed the crown to Fernando Alonso. In 2006 Ferrari had a poor start to the season, but clearly had the fastest car by the end of that season.

On 26 October 2006 Ferrari announced that Brawn was to leave the team. It was believed that he would take a one year sabbatical, to allow other members of the Ferrari technical departments to advance within the team.

Honda

Towards the end of 2007 it was reported that Brawn was to join the big-spending Red Bull outfit as part of a package intended to attract double world champion Fernando Alonso, but it was announced on 12 November 2007 that Brawn was to become the new team principal of Honda F1 .[6] He started working with the British-based team on 26 November 2007.

With the withdrawal of Honda from Formula One announced in late 2008 Brawn was effectively out of the sport unless a buyer could quickly be found. This was unfortunate for Brawn as he believed that the team had a "race-winning car" for 2009.[7]

Brawn GP

On 5 March 2009 Brawn completed a 100% buy-out of Honda F1 and announced entry to the 2009 F1 World Championship under the new name Brawn GP.[8]

Many aspects of Honda F1 were retained under the new ownership, including the experienced driver line-up of Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button. Brawn GP chose to source their engines for the 2009 season from Mercedes-Benz.[9] In the first Grand Prix of 2009 in Australia, Button qualified in pole position with Barrichello in 2nd place,[10] they went on to finish in those positions.[11] Of the 19 Grand Prix races of the 2009 season, Jenson Button won 6 and Rubens Barrichello won 2, while the team finished in both 1st and 2nd places in 4 races and in podium positions in 11 races.

The Brawn team was given a financial boost on the eve of the Australian GP when Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson announced he was going to become a team sponsor.[12] The team then got a second sponsor on board, The Swiss brokers MIG Investments. Brawn GP won the 2009 Formula One World Constructors' Championship and one of its drivers, Jenson Button, won the World Drivers' Championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Brawn was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours for services to motorsport.[13][14]

Mercedes AMG

Brawn GP was bought out by Mercedes-Benz in November 2009 in a deal reported to be worth £110m.[15] Brawn, as majority shareholder, stood to do very well financially from the deal and remained as team principal. He and Nick Fry kept a 24.9% share in the new team, which was then sold to Mercedes in early 2011.[16] In December 2009 seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher confirmed that the main reason he decided to go to Mercedes GP was because of Ross Brawn.[17] It was at Benetton and at Ferrari where Ross Brawn masterminded Schumacher's seven world titles. However, the start of the season was rather slow, and in the first three races, Schumacher managed only 6th in Bahrain, 10th in Australia, and retired in Malaysia because of a lost wheel nut, whilst Schumacher's teammate and fellow-countryman Nico Rosberg had a bit more success with the car, finishing 5th in Malaysia and in Australia and scoring the first podium for Mercedes Grand Prix with a 3rd place in Malaysia. The team won their first race on 15 April 2012, when Nico Rosberg won the Chinese Grand Prix.

Personal life

Speeding offence

Brawn escaped a driving ban after he admitted speeding at over 100 mph (160 km/h) on a dual carriageway. He was speeding in his Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Saloon on the 70mph (112km/h) limited A30 at Sourton near Okehampton, Devon on May 30, 2009. Brawn paid a fine of £700, costs of £75, and had his licence endorsed with six points.

Following an offence in February 2009, Brawn already had three points. A further speeding offence could result in a ban lasting six months.[18]

Hobbies

Brawn is a keen salmon and trout fisherman.

References

  1. ^ "Brawn joins Honda as team principal". Autosport. 12 November 2007. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/63900.
  2. ^ Shaw, James (19 June 2004). "Ross Brawn". Manchester Evening News. http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/sport/s/124/124375_brawn.html. Retrieved 2012-03-27.
  3. ^ University, Heriot-Watt. "Heriot-Watt University Honorary Graduates, November 2011". Heriot-Watt Website. Heriot-Watt University. http://www.hw.ac.uk/news-events/news/heriot-watt-honorary-graduates-november-2011.htm. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Stoke Row man set to head up Formula 1 team". Henley Standard. http://www.henleystandard.co.uk/sport/sport.php?id=566865. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
  5. ^ Johnston, Ian (24 May 2009). "Ross Brawn, Formula 1's kingmaker: profile". The Daily Telegraph (London: TMG). ISSN 0307-1235. OCLC 49632006. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/5378983/Ross-Brawn-Formula-1s-kingmaker-profile.html. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
  6. ^ Benson, Andrew (2006-11-12). "Ferrari's Brawn to be Honda boss". www.bbc.co.uk. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7090180.stm. Retrieved 2006-11-12.
  7. ^ "BBC SPORT | Motorsport | Honda buyer would get a great team – Brawn". BBC News. 2008-12-05. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/7766899.stm. Retrieved 2009-06-06.
  8. ^ Noble, Jonathan (5 March 2009). "Brawn GP take over Honda Racing". Autosport. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/73577. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
  9. ^ "Brawn GP arrives". grandprix.com. 6 March 2009. http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns21227.html. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
  10. ^ Whyatt, Chris (28 March 2009). "Button on pole for stunning Brawn". BBC Sport. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7969464.stm. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
  11. ^ Whyatt, Chris (29 March 2009). "Button seals dream Australia win". BBC Sport. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7970488.stm. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
  12. ^ "Virgin to sponsor Brawn F1 team". BBC Sport. 28 March 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7969435.stm. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
  13. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59282. p. 9. 31 December 2009.
  14. ^ "Lions legend McGeechan knighted". BBC News. 31 December 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/front_page/8435126.stm. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  15. ^ "Sport Digest, November 16-21". The Daily Telegraph (London). 25 November 2009. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/expatnews/6654068/Sport-Digest-November-16-21.html.
  16. ^ Benson, Andrew (16 November 2009). "Mercedes takes over Brawn F1 team". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8362295.stm. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  17. ^ "I would only race for Brawn – Schumacher". BBC News. 23 December 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8428368.stm. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  18. ^ "F1 boss Ross Brawn escapes 100mph driving ban". northamptonchron.co.uk (Northampton). 4 September 2009. http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/local/f1_boss_ross_brawn_escapes_100mph_driving_ban_1_897273. Retrieved 2012-06-11.

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