ROSS Brawn is one of Formula One’s most successful, rich and influential men.
Team chief at Mercedes, he has masterminded their revival this season and helped guide German Nico Rosberg, 26, to his maiden F1 triumph in China last weekend.
But he was also the eponymous owner of the Brawn team that carried Briton Jenson Button to the world title in 2009 — before he sold the former-Honda team to Mercedes.
And before that, he was the brilliant technical director who was behind all seven of Michael Schumacher’s fabulous world titles with Benetton (1994 and 1995) and then Ferrari (2000-04 inclusive).
Not bad for a Reading schoolboy who drifted almost accidentally into motor racing with the Williams team.
But that is his story — and the background to how he links the extraordinary careers of father-and-son F1 winners Keke Rosberg and his son Nico.
Keke, the original flying Finn in Formula One, claimed his maiden victory at the Swiss Grand Prix at Dijon-Prenois on August 29, 1982.
Driving a Williams-Ford, he came home victorious ahead of Frenchman Alain Prost, who went on to become a four-time world champion, Austrian Niki Lauda, a three-times champion, and fourth-placed Brazilian Nelson Piquet, who was also to be a triple champion.
And buried among the little-known band who were in Rosberg’s team that day was Brawn, working his way up from the bottom of F1 as a young member of legendary technical boss Patrick Head’s team.
That first win came in Rosberg’s second season in F1 and he went on to lift his title that year with just 44 points and a sole victory.
“Don’t remind me of all that, seeing Nico winning has really brought home how old I am feeling,” said Brawn yesterday, at the Sakhir circuit ahead of this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix. AFP