PEOPLE: DAVID BROWN

Name: David Brown
Nationality: Great Britain

David Brown

David Brown 

 © Inside F1, Inc.

David Brown is a famous name in motor racing history. The best known David Brown was a man born in 1904, who raced in the 1920s and in 1959 realized his dream of taking Aston Martin to victory at Le Mans. His F1 cars achieved little between 1959-1960 despite being driven by the likes of Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby, but he went on to be knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and all Aston Martins are designated DB in his memory.

The most famous David Brown in the 1980s, however, was a race engineer at Williams. Brown joined Williams in 1981 when the team was still based in an old carpet warehouse in Didcot, near Oxford.

Trained as an apprentice engineer with British Leyland at nearby Cowley, Brown started out as a draughtsman in the Williams drawing office. In 1987 he was given the job of engineering Nigel Mansell's Williams-Honda. He continued to work with the Englishman until Mansell quit Williams at the end of 1988 to join Ferrari. Brown then began a relationship with Thierry Boutsen - which resulted in two wins in two years - before Mansell returned and Brown was once again given the job of engineering his car. In 1992 the pair won the World Championship but Mansell then quit to race in America and Brown found himself working with Alain Prost. This relationship resulted in a second World title for Brown in 1993 and he was looking forward to a third with Ayrton Senna in 1994 when the Brazilian was killed at Imola.

Brown bounced back from the shock of his driver's death and began to work with the new Williams team leader Damon Hill. The pair gave the team a boost with victory in Spain and followed up with another five wins - Hill only missing the championship when Michael Schumacher drove into him after the German had crashed into a wall in Adelaide.

Brown continued his relationship with Hill in 1995 but it was a frustrating season and, when Brown received a financially tempting offer to work with David Coulthard at McLaren in 1996, he decided that the time had finally arrived to leave Williams. He remained with the McLaren F1 team for only a season before being given the job of looking after McLaren's Young Driver program.

This led to his appointment in 1998 as the managing-director of West Competition, the McLaren Formula 3000 team, leading it to win the championship with Nick Heidfeld in 1999. The team was closed down at the end of 2000 and Brown then went toJordan to be senior race engineer, overseeing the efforts of Heinz-Harald Frentzen. Brown left Jordan in 2002.

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