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Ross Brawn

Formula 1 employee

Ross Brawn
Credit: Mercedes AMG Petronas
Vital statistics for Ross Brawn
NationalityGBR
PositionManaging director
OrganisationFormula One Group

Ross Brawn has had a hugely successful career in F1 to date, with the Brit part of the dream team that dominated the sport with Michael Schumacher – both at Benetton and then again at Ferrari. Brawn was left picking up the pieces after Honda withdrew from F1, but another championship followed with his self-titled team. He continued to lead when Mercedes took control, but the stint ended in 2013. In 2017, he joined the Formula One Group as managing director of the sporting side.

Biography

Brawn’s education came in the form of Mechanical Engineering, after he was taken on as an apprentice for the UK Atomic Energy Authority. He made the switch to F1 in the mid 1970s, joining at the base of the career ladder – as a milling machinist for Williams. Gradually, he made his way up through the development departments, spending time in the wind tunnel, as well as with other aerodynamic areas.

Brawn became chief designer at the Arrows team in 1986, helping to produce some quick machinery that was noticed by Tom Walkinshaw. After working on some sportscars, particularly designing the 1991 World Championship winning vehicle, Brawn joined Benetton as technical director.

With Rory Byrne designing the cars, and Michael Schumacher driving them, the trio secured two consecutive championships in 1994 and 1995. Brawn and Schumacher’s move to Ferrari was even more successful, and Brawn began to make a name for himself as a shrewd strategist. The team pushed Schumacher to five consecutive championship victories, an unprecedented level of success.

At the end of 2006, with performance at Ferrari dropping, Brawn moved to Honda for a step up to become Team Principal. The Japanese manufacturers weren’t content with their one single victory in the sport, leaving Brawn and the entire team floundering after their withdrawal at the end of 2008.

Several months of searching for a buyer ended with nothing, and so Brawn organised a buy-out, taking a 54% controlling stake in the team. Renamed Brawn GP for the 2009 season, the car surged to early domination, and continued to be competitive until the end of the year, securing a fairytale championship victory.

At the end of the year, German manufacturers Mercedes bought into the team, rebranding the outfit with their own moniker. Brawn remaining team principal initially, but as Mercedes continued to bring in more and more chiefs, Ross’s position at the topped seemed ever more tenuous. At the end of the 2013 season, he confirmed he would be leaving Mercedes, with any future F1 roles as yet undecided.

Brawn resurfaced in late 2016, as it emerged he was acting as a consultant to the incoming owners of Liberty Media. At first he confirmed there was no official role for him, but in early 2017 that changed. Brawn was hired as a managing director alongside Sean Bratches from ESPN. The pair will work together under Liberty boss Chase Carey, with Brawn concentrating on the sporting side and Bratches on the commercial aspects of revitalising the sport.