Ross joined the Honda team after a year's sabbatical. Ross was part of the dream team that took Michael Schumacher to his two world titles with Benetton in 1994 and 1995 before he moved on with a few of the key people to Ferrari to turn the Italian team into the dominating machine it became from 1999 to 2004. During that time it won every world constructors' title and Schumacher won the drivers' title every year from 2000 to 2004. Brawn took his own team on to win both titles in its first year, in 2009, and then hired Schumacher out of retirement to race in 2010.
A Brief History:
At first known as British American Racing, the team was created by Craig Pollock, the manager of Jacques Villeneuve for the Canadian world champion. In its first season, in 1999, and with a Supertec engine, the team was the only one of the 11 to score no points. It clearly needed a better engine and a manufacturer to back it. In 2000, Honda joined the team and it immediately finished fifth in the championship, with 20 points. The following year, however, Pollock ceased to run the team, and his job was handed over to David Richards.
The Honda Years:
Honda started racing in Formula 1 as a full-fledged team in 1964, and stayed until 1968. During that time, it won two races. Then, as a supplier of engines to other teams, it raced from 1983 to 1992 and won 69 races. After an eight-year hiatus, Honda returned as an engine provider and then part owner of the BAR team from 2000 to 2005. In 2006 it took full control and renamed it Honda. Then, suddenly, just before the 2009 season, Honda sold the team to the management and quit Formula 1.
The Honda Pullout:
In 2006, in the first year as the new entity of Honda, the team took its first victory, at the Hungarian Grand Prix. With a strong driver pair in Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button, and with a clear commitment for the future from Honda, the team had all the elements in place to continue to progress. But as the world market for automobiles crumbled in the autumn of 2008, athe company said it needed to focus on its core activities and pulled out of F1. But finishing ninth out of 10 teams in 2008 surely did not help. But it pulled out at just the wrong time, as the team would win both championships in 2009.
- Founded: 2009
- Based: Brackley, England
- World Constructors' Titles: 1
- World Drivers' Titles: 1
Brawn's Success, Mercedes' Buyout:
No sooner did Honda leave the team than Ross's work in organizing the team paid its dividends. In 2009, the team dominated the first part of the season as Jenson Button won 6 of the first seven races. The team held it all together to finish the season with both the drivers' and the constructors' titles. This proved so appealing to the Mercedes car company, that the company decided to leave its longtime partner, McLaren, to buy a controlling interest in the Brawn team and to race under the name Mercedes Grand Prix in 2010. It did not even need to start the season before its first coup, hiring Michael Schumacher to race for the team in 2010. Schumacher, the winner of 7 world titles, came out of retirement after three years absence from racing and at the age of 41. It was a German dream team of Mercedes, Schumacher and Nico Rosberg, the German born Monaco resident and son of the former world champion Keke Rosberg of Finland.