DECEMBER 9, 1996
Brawn versus Walkinshaw
TOM WALKINSHAW has entered into legal action in London to stop Ross Brawn joining Ferrari.
The relationship between Walkinshaw and Brawn goes back to October 1989 when Brawn was poached by Tom from Arrows where Ross was working as technical director. Brawn became chief designer of TWR and in February 1990 TWR technical director. After establishing a design office he produced the Jaguar XJR-14 sportscar. In November 1991 - several months after Walkinshaw bought into the Benetton team - Brawn was appointed technical director of Benetton.
There have long been rumors that Brawn was somehow tied to Walkinshaw. He had a Benetton contract but it is believed to have included a clause in which Brawn would leave Benetton and rejoin TWR if Walkinshaw were to sell his 30% shareholding in the team. This may have been done as there have been rumors in recent months that Walkinshaw has been trying to divorce himself of all his involvement with the Benetton family.
Whatever the details, Walkinshaw clearly believes that he has a case. It remains for the courts to decide if he really does.