Ross Brawn - How Patience Won an F1 World Championship

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by Tom Hasker, Associate Partner, Lighthouse International

This is the incredible story of how Ross Brawn, (one of the most successful Formula 1 car designers and team bosses) turned around a team that was on the brink of collapse.

The Challenge

In 2008 Brawn was Team Principal for the Honda team. After two years of poor results Honda had suddenly pulled out of F1 and put the team up for sale. Honda could not find a buyer and team morale was at an all time low, with just 4 months to go before the 2009 season, despite the fact that their car was predicted to be fastest by 2 seconds!

The Solution

Brawn knew that the hard work of the team was about to pay off and kept the team together in order to compete, even investing his own funds and bringing other investors he knew on board. He had been with Ferrari for several years as Team Principal and had enough capital and contacts behind him to buy the team. He also arranged a deal with Jenson Button that saw the driver take an 80% pay cut to keep the team going. Brawn had said to Honda “Give me 3 years and I will give you a World Championship.” He knew, like most legends do, that success takes time. He didn't say "I'll turn it around in 6 months" because true success doesn't come quickly.

So Honda became Brawn GP.

Brawn persevered and took on the mammoth responsibility for 400 people, leading everyone in the right direction, redesigning the car and then competing around the world on 17 different circuits.

Brawn made good on his 3 year plan - in 2009 Brawn GP won not only the Drivers' Championship, but the Team Constructors' Championship too. Not many people gave the team a chance but Brawn and his team blew away the rest of the field. It’s a powerful example of knowing that, while you may not be seeing many fruits of your efforts right now, you will succeed later on provided you have the right team around you and are willing to invest the consistent time, money and effort to do so.

Ross Brawn has in total lead 3 different teams to 9 Drivers' and 8 Team Constructors' Championships in his career. Here’s more on the incredible story of how Brawn won the World Championship in 2009. 

Learning From Legends...

Ross Brawn Quiz

Ross Brawn Quiz

Jensen Button Brawn F1 image courtesy of Jose Mª Izquierdo Galiot @ Wikimedia


By | 2017-09-29T23:20:47+00:00 September 29th, 2017|

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