Page last updated at 16:53 GMT, Friday, 4 September 2009 17:53 UK

Speeding F1 team boss escapes ban

Jenson Button (l) and Ross Brawn
Brawn's F1 team includes drivers' championship leader Jenson Button

A Formula One team boss who admitted driving at more than 100mph (161km/h) in Devon has escaped a driving ban.

Ross Brawn was fined £700 and his licence will be endorsed for speeding in his Mercedes E320 on the A30 near Okehampton in May.

The Brawn GP team owner, of Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, said he was late for an appointment after being held up by traffic on the M4 and M5 motorways.

His sentence has been condemned by the road safety group Brake.

The Brawn team currently occupies the top two places in the World Championship with Britain's Jenson Button leading the title race.

As somebody who heads up a Formula One team he should be very, very aware of the dangers of speed
Cathy Keeler, Brake

Brawn was not in court for the hearing and was represented by his lawyer Denis Brennan.

Mr Brennan told magistrates that Brawn, who has 33 years' driving experience, accepted culpability and was aware he could be banned.

He told the court: "The traffic was light. He fully co-operated with the police. He apologises."

The court was told Brawn already has three penalty points following an offence in February and a further speeding offence could result in a six-month ban.

But a spokeswoman for Brake said the courts should clamp down on drivers like Brawn who "flout the law".

'Never appropriate'

"He is a public figure and his own driving, particularly on public roads, should be exemplary," Cathy Keeler said.

"As somebody who heads up a Formula One team he should be very, very aware of the dangers of speed because of all the precautions his sport takes to mitigate those dangers.

"On the track, speed is only appropriate with all those extra precautions taken. Off the track it is never appropriate on public roads."

Brawn is a high-profile F1 figure, having worked in the sport for more than 30 years.

He is the former team principal at Honda and was employed as technical director at Benetton and Ferrari.



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