Ross Brawn has been presented with a Motorsport Industry Association award for his 'most outstanding contribution' to the racing world, not just in Formula One but beyond the top flight.
The Briton joined a impressive list of previous winners as the MIA recognised his 33-year career, which began as a humble milling machine operator at March but produced winning teams and cars in both sportscars and, most famously, in F1.
“His exceptional race engineering talent is coupled with integrity, sincerity and humility – a rare combination in this aggressive competitive sport,” MIA CEO Chris Aylett reflected, "His personal contribution has benefited many in this global industry – employees, suppliers and drivers. His influence makes motorsport and F1 a better place to be.
”Ross is a great inspiration to young engineers who we need to help us improve our future. As patron of Formula Student, for example, he is putting something back into tomorrow's generation. F1 leaders can be great ambassadors for global motorsport, [and] Ross is one of the new breed who will ensure its popularity will last well into the future.”
Brawn joined March Engineering in 1976 and ran its F3 team, before moving, two years later, to the Williams Grand Prix team. From there, he moved through the Haas Lola and Arrows F1 teams to join TWR sportscar effort, designing the ultra-successful Jaguar XJR-14, along F1 design lines, which went on to win the World Sportscar Championship in 1991.
He returned to F1 with the Tom Walkinshaw-run Benetton team later that year, teaming up with a young Michael Schumacher and winning back-to-back world titles in 1994 and 1995. When Schumacher was lured to Ferrari the following year, Brawn also transferred to Maranello and the pair, supported by outstanding Ferrari technology, became virtually unbeatable, winning the first of six consecutive constructors' championships in 1999.
When Schumacher announced his retirement from the sport at the end of 2006, having racked up a further five world crowns with the Scuderia, Brawn took a sabbatical away from F1 but, his head refreshed by a year of fishing, returned to the sport - and the UK - by accepting the post of technical director at Honda for 2008.
Arriving too late to have much impact on the team's fortunes, the season proved to be a disaster and, at its end, Brawn's future - along with everyone else at the Brackley base - was cast into doubt as Honda put the team up for sale.
However, after a protracted period of uncertainty, Brawn, together with four colleagues, acquired the entire operation immediately prior to the start of the 2009 season. From there, a fairy-tale began to unfold as Brawn GP's Jenson Button took six wins from the first eight races so that, by the end of June and with just nine races to go, he and the rebranded team led their respective championship by handsome margins.
Brawn's award was presented by the right honourable Paul Drayson, UK minister of state for innovation, at the MIA's annual Summer Reception at the House of Lords. Previous award recipients include Professor Sid Watkins, Lord March, Sir Frank Williams, Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart, Tom Wheatcroft, David Richards and Bernie Ecclestone amongst others.