THE Honda Formula 1 team is likely go into the first grand prix of the new season this month with a Stoke Row man in charge.
Ross Brawn, who joined Honda as team principal last year, is heading a management buy-out after the company announced last year that it was to withdraw from motor racing.
Last-minute discussions were taking place this week to secure the deal, which would save 700 jobs at the team’s Brackley headquarters .
The move comes after Honda rejected an offer by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group to take control. It is believed Mr Brawn, 55, stepped in after securing funding from a number of sources, including Formula 1 chief Bernie Eccleston in the form of advances on television rights money.
If the buy-out goes through, Honda will line up for the first race this year in Melbourne on March 29 with Jenson Button behind the wheel.
Mr Brawn, who is married to Jean and has two daughters, was the mastermind behind Ferrari and Michael Schumacher’s record seven world titles.
He was educated at Reading School and became a trainee engineer at the UK Atomic Energy Authority at Harwell, where he studied instrumentation.
He began his career in Formular 1 in 1976 when he joined March Engineering in Bicester, working as a milling machine operator.
Mr Brawn progressed to March’s Formula 3 team as a mechanic before being hired by Sir Frank Williams in 1978 as a machinist for his F1 team.
He worked up through the ranks before spending time with the Haas Lola and Arrows teams. He then moved to Jaguar, working in its sports racing division, which won the 1991 World Sportscar Championship.
Mr Brawn returned to F1 with the Benetton team where he met up with Schumacher, who won the championships in 1994 and 1995. He then followed Schumacher to Ferrari where their success continued.
In his spare time Mr Brawn enjoys fishing, music and gardening. He received an honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering from Brunel University in 2006 for services to motorsport.