Ross Brawn


Prior to my move to Benetton F1, I had spent 2 years in sports car racing, designing the World Championship and Le Mans winning Jaguar XJR-14. A young German driver stood out in that series and when we heard he was looking to move into Formula One, we snapped him up. This was the beginning of a long and successful professional relationship with Michael Schumacher.

Of all the victories with Michael the one that really stands out is the Constructors’ and Drivers’ World Championship win in 2000 for Ferrari.

Ferrari had not won the championship for 21 years, it was very special, made more so perhaps by the preceding three years, 1997, ’98 and ’99 which had all been pretty tough. We had had a chance of victory and lost each one, pretty much on the last race each time year. Being so close to finally securing the title after such a long period without was extremely painful. 2000 was still a pretty tough year but we won and we did so with a bit of margin, securing the championship before the final race.

We won the title at Suzuka, I recall the intense pressure of that race, which intensified during a critical series of pit stops. We managed to execute ours perfectly and when we came out again and the other teams had completed their stops, we could see it had all fallen into place. I then conveyed the news to Michael that we had done the job and we just had to bring the car through to the finish now.

The period between successfully completing the pit stops and the end of the race was pretty tense. You experience a multitude of emotions until you cross the finish line. You have to contain yourself. You are still involved on the pit wall, you are still monitoring all the data, ready to react if anything happens; you could have a puncture, it might start raining, so I always supress any emotions. The bigger the event, the greater the emotions, but I have always contained them and still do to this day, during any race.

The traditional post championship party for the previous 3 years had been pretty subdued affairs due to the immense disappointment of missing out so narrowly, so when we won in 2000 I remember the party just being an enormous outpouring of emotion, celebration, pleasure and relief.

Formula One is a team sport and being able to celebrate with your fellow team members is very special. It is to some extent an individual sport for the drivers themselves, but for the team around them there is a close bond. Friendships are formed that last many years and living through the disappointments together helps to prepare you to celebrate the triumphs together, making them so much more special.

We went on to win 5 championships in a row together, a phenomenal period of success and achievement.

The next World Championship winning experience for me was with a whole new team.

Read my next memory here

Ross Brawn

Team Principal


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MERCEDES amg petronas


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