F1 Fanatic reader Scott Joslin was in Brackley on Monday to join in the celebrations for Brawn GP’s world championship win. Here’s his report from the celebrations.
A beaming Ross Brawn told the Brackley crowd this was the best moment of his F1 career. Certainly better than his first championship win with Benetton in 1994 – when his team was the target of angry Damon Hill fans following that infamous collision…
With the towns’ streets full with thousands of locals waving flags and singing along to ?óÔé¼?ôWe are the Champions?óÔé¼?Ø Ross Brawn?óÔé¼Ôäós message throughout the day of celebrations was that while his team had won all before them in 2009, thoughts still had to go out to those that lost their jobs as part of the restructuring in March.
Three red open-top buses took the proud Brawn GP team members down the towns high street towards the small Brackley town market place to be greeted by thousands of local fans and the towns proud mayor. The main focus of attention for the fans was on the two characters carried up front of the team buses in a white open top Mercedes – Nick Fry and Ross Brawn.
Travelling the route from the factory little over a mile saw scenes and hysteria more like that usually reserved for pop or film stars. Once upon the large podium in the centre of the towns Market Place Brawn and Fry were presented with various gifts and presents on behalf of the town’s mayor and local authorities.
Mayor of Brackley Town Caryl Billingham talked to locals about the time line of events of the last 12 months, reminding everyone that they only found out about the potential severity Honda?óÔé¼Ôäós decision to pull out of F1 less than a year ago. The mayor was visibly overcome with emotion as she thanked the hard work and commitment by the teams management to save as many local jobs and careers as possible.
When the microphone was passed to Ross Brawn he further endeared himself to the locals by saying this was his proudest moment in his time in F1. He stated that at his time in Italy they never put on such a warm welcome and when he won his first championship for the Benetton team in 1994 as he returned to the Enstone teams base he was greeted large crowds of irate Damon Hill fans at the gates taking their frustrations out on him for Michael Schumacher?óÔé¼Ôäós collision with Hill thus robbing him of the 1994 championship. He thanked the town for its local expertise in F1 and the great access to a rich vain of skills and talent being based in F1?óÔé¼Ôäós Motorsport Valley.
Nick Fry thanked the hard work and commitment show by the teams employees especially over the dark winter months last year but also took the chance to thank all the teams backers that helped them out throughout the year.
Both men then took time to sign autographs for the towns locals and the many young school children who had been given the afternoon off had photos with the team principals.
This event was a breath of fresh air, fans were given the chance to ask questions of Ross and Nick as they worked through the crowd. The only slight negative was absence of any of the drivers. The only driver present was Anthony Davidson, who was seen waving from one of the open top buses along the route.
The locals of Brackley got their chance to revel in the success of the fairytale story of the team which employs over 400 local residences. Nick Fry closed summarising the optimism of the team, saying that he could never have anticipated a day like this 12 months ago and he was sure the team was in good shape for another attack on the championship and hoped to see the many faces again this time next year.
Here are some of Scott’s pictures from the event. You can find many more on the F1 Fanatic drop.io:
Button and Brawn, world champions