Brawn is a Formula One phenomenon

Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:10pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - If a jubilant Jenson Button had his way, fellow Briton Ross Brawn would have his name on a shiny medal as well as on a championship-winning Formula One car and team.

Without the 'Big Bear', as the new world champion likes to call his boss, Button might have become just another has-been thrown on the scrapheap along with hundreds of Honda employees before the season had even started.

From staring at the prospect of closed factory gates 10 months ago -- Button said his friends had jokingly asked him last winter when he would be joining the dole queue -- the team are now on top of the world.

Brawn, winner of multiple titles with seven-times champion Michael Schumacher as technical director at Benetton and Ferrari, is quite simply a Formula One phenomenon.

Likened to Manchester United soccer manager Alex Ferguson as a winning machine -- an apt comparison since Brawn supports the club -- the burly Briton held the team together in the darkest of days to lead them to what some have hailed a miracle on wheels.

After Button and Brawn triggered wild celebrations at Interlagos on Sunday by clinching both the drivers' and constructors' titles, a sober look at the statistics showed just how much the bespectacled 54-year-old has achieved.

He has been involved in eight constructors' titles in his career, the same number that McLaren have won in 43 years of existence.

His tally of race 'wins' is equal to the 113 victories achieved by Williams since 1979. If one totted up all the points his teams have scored and then attributed them to him, he would rank fourth overall in the all-time list.   Continued...