The ‘Big Bear’, better known as Ross Brawn, worked his way up through the lower ranks with teams such as Williams and Lola before he later became more famous as the technical director and strategist without compare at the likes of Benetton and Ferrari, having a hand in all seven of Michael Schumacher’s championship titles.
And after Schumacher called it quits in 2006, Brawn followed suit and went fishing. But the temptation of a role with Honda lured him back to F1, and when the carmaker pulled the pin on F1, he bought out the team rather than see it – and the livelihood of hundreds of employees – go to waste.
And to think that the new team – formed at the eleventh hour with next-to-no budget – would go on to win the Drivers’ and Constructors’ championship double in its first season of competition is simply a fairytale. But one that is completely true. This is The Brawn Story…
This is F1 author Christopher Hilton’s last published title before his sudden death late last year, and there are few in the business with as much knowledge and experience in writing about Formula 1.
In all, The Brawn Story is very well-written and done with the full cooperation of the Brawn GP – now Mercedes GP – team under Brawn’s leadership. Chronologically following the ups and downs of the 2009 championship season, there are great quotes from Brawn and his drivers and Hilton editorialises where appropriate.
One minor criticism is that the team’s mid-season drop-off in form was not critically examined as well as perhaps Hilton should have done, and it does give the book a rather rose-tinted feel at times when discussing areas where the team – by its own admission – made poor decisions that brought its rivals back into the championship hunt.
But that is not to detract from the incredible achievement of Brawn and his entire operation in 2009, and Hilton captures this with great touch and skill.
Using our unique ‘Chequered Flags’ rating system, we award The Brawn Story…
OUT OF A POSSIBLE FIVE.
The Brawn Story is available at specialist bookstores and Amazon.com.
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