Some unfinished business
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Ross Brawn bows to the inevitable and steps down from Mercedes F1 team
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Posted By: James Allen  |  28 Nov 2013   |  12:33 pm GMT  |  205 comments

The most anticipated story of 2013 has finally reached its endgame: Ross Brawn will leave the Mercedes F1 team on December 31st, it was announced today. The news comes as no real surprise, as it was foreshadowed a few weeks ago in press reports. Brawn had made his decision at the time, but had requested that the announcement come after the season had ended.

It ended well and Brawn can sign off having lifted Mercedes to second in the constructors’ championship, a significant achievement, given where they were in 2010-12.

Now they have a platform to challenge the Red Bull hegemony and with the hybrid powertrain they have built and the team of chassis engineers they have assembled, a championship challenge is there to be made.

But Brawn won’t be part of it. He and the team could not agree on a role for him which gave him the status as reference point which he wanted. He was not interested in being an wise old counsellor, he wanted to run the show and the new management group of Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda did not see eye to eye with him on that.

He was given the chance to make the decision and it has been presented that way, but all along it has had the feeling that a new broom was passing through and he wasn’t going to be able to stay in a position of control any more.

Paddy Lowe has big shoes to fill, but he’s a highly intelligent, experienced and ambitious man. He’s moving up to a different kind of role now, as Brawn did when he started with Honda in 2008, and there will be some adaptation.

The key for him will be the support of central figures in the team like Sporting Director Ron Meadows, engineering chiefs like Aldo Costa and Bob Bell as he gets to grips with his new role. Mercedes have some very good people and a much clearer management structure than McLaren, Lowe’s former employer, so it’s clear that the buck stops with him.

It is not known where Brawn’s future in Formula One lies, with a role in the FIA or a move to another team still possible options. Brawn has not been approached yet by the FIA. The feeling is that he has not been particularly active in looking for the next move; that he will bide his time, take half a season off and see how the landscape looks in 2014 when the cars built to the new rules go racing and then decide whether he has more another big challenge in him. He says he’s too young to be a grandad and that he likes the idea of racing, but the right role will be essential. The only viable options would be McLaren – but that would require a shareholder revolt – and Ferrari, but they have a new structure with James Allison and will want to give that a chance to mature.

Lowe will take control of the technical side of the Mercedes team and Toto Wolff will lead the business side. They have both been able to spectate on Brawn’s leadership style and see the way that he has helped turn the team around from its difficult days of 2007 and 2008, through the Brawn GP wonder year, to Mercedes ownership.

The move has been expected since January, when news broke of Lowe joining the team, which Brawn did not appear to have been in control of. Leaks in the media throughout the season have further cemented the suspicion that Brawn was nearing the end of his career at the team.

Next year brings a host of fresh challenges to the F1 teams and ones that require dedication to a long-term project. Therefore, it gave the opportunity for a smooth hand-over between the senior management.


The 59-year old has achieved all he can in this sport, the only engineering boss to win races with four different teams, even taking a team under his own name to a double World Championship, which had only been done before with Sir Jack Brabham and Sir Frank Williams.

Any sighting of him in a new role in the coming years will be a sign of his passion – more than necessity. He is a very wealthy man, having sold Brawn GP to Mercedes for €123 million, as well as earning very well at Ferrari for 10 years.

“The most important consideration in my decision to step down from the role as team principal was to ensure that the timing was right for the team in order to ensure its future success,” said Brawn.

“The succession planning process that we have implemented during this year means we are now ready to conduct the transition from my current responsibilities to a new leadership team composed of Toto and Paddy.”

Mercedes’ non-executive chairman, Niki Lauda, admits that he tried to keep Brawn at the team, but says you cannot hold someone back when they have made a decision.

“We have had long discussions with Ross about how he could continue with the team but it is a basic fact that you cannot hold somebody back when they have chose to move on,” Lauda said.

“Toto and Paddy are the right people to lead our team in 2014 and beyond.”

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205 Comments
  1. hippyneil says:

    McLaren could do with a new Team Principal, but I suspect we may have seen the last of Ross Brawn on the pit wall.

    1. Grabsplatter says:

      I’ll never understand why they took on the man whose only previous f1 experience was overseeing Williams fall from the top flight teams to the back of the grid.

      Even if Sam Michael knows where all the bodies are buried, why would any team employ him now that he has only ever managed the decline of two teams?

      1. hippyneil says:

        You echo what I have said since Michaels joined McLaren. I’m not saying he’s poison but… maybe it’s just coincidence.
        Also, Whitmarsh, as nice a guy as he is (well, seems), has always seemed out of his depth and will only be remembered for the man who lost Lewis Hamilton while presiding over the collapse of a once-great team.

      2. Aaron says:

        Oh how short memories are – remember back to the end of last season – McLaren were reckoned by many to have the fastest car on the track. One bad season does not mean the team has collapsed.

        And as for Hamilton leaving – both sides have said in interviews that there was nothing McLaren could have done to keep him. Hamilton had decided he wanted a change of scenery and no matter what McLaren offered him he was moving on.

      3. Sam says:

        Very much agree re Whitmarsh. Nice guy and OK as a corporate face but try listing his achievements as Team Principle at McLaren…not much is there…now try listing the negatives on his watch…quite a few, including the key ones of missed championships and the loss of Hamilton. In the dog eat dog world of F1, I find it amazing that his position has not come under scrutiny sooner (maybe this fact is in itself, his greatest achievement!.

      4. SG says:

        Very much agree re Whitmarsh. Nice guy and OK as a corporate face but try listing his achievements as Team Principle at McLaren…not much is there…now try listing the negatives on his watch…quite a few, including the key ones of missed championships and the loss of Hamilton. In the dog eat dog world of F1, I find it amazing that his position has not come under scrutiny sooner (maybe this fact is in itself, his greatest achievement!)

      5. grat says:

        @Aaron: Yes, McLaren had the fastest car on track for a good portion of the year. But you can’t win with 18 second pit stops, no fuel in the car, and poor strategy decisions.

        I’m not a Vettel fan or a Christian Horner fan (they both grate on my nerves), but Red Bull has been a well-organized, ruthless competitor in F1, and deserve every single Constructor’s title they’ve won.

        Compared with them, Ferrari and McLaren have looked indecisive, incompetent and poorly prepared. Both teams have been punching well BELOW their metaphorical weight.

      6. Paddy Lowe is responsible for the technical direction of this year’s McLaren according to Whitmarsh (JAF1 November podcast).

        Besides, isn’t Michael in a Sporting role, e.g. strategy?

      7. Quade says:

        Paddy Lowe designed a perfectly good car, it would seem. The car handled well in the simulator as confirmed first by Lewis, the Jenson.

        The issues at McLaren have been confirmed to be due to setup. Do you recall Jenson mentioning a couple of races ago that they were going to go a “radical direction in setup>” Guess what? After that “radical” change in setup direction, McLaren became as competitive as Mercedes and Ferrari, add that to Jensens setup limbo in 2012 (the “I am lost” saga), then mix in the “uncapabilities” of Perez and you have all the ingredients for the 2013 failure in the pot.

        McLaren simply lack a driver that can do any useful setup work. Lets pray that Magnussen can do it like Lewis. We can’t afford another bad season.

    2. Equin0x says:

      Well with rumours saying he might go back to Ferrari as principle now imagine Ross with Ferrari’s resources and ready for Vettel’s arrival in 2015/2016… yes I know its a frightening thought, if he could emulate the early 2000 success with him and Schumacher then him and Vettel would be invincible, but maybe he just wants a low pressure post at Williams, we’ll see.

      1. hippyneil says:

        To be fair, Vettel with Horner/Newey seems pretty invincible at the moment.

      2. J.Danek says:

        Ross is too old, honestly, to be a team boss again if he sits out even 1 single year, plus his wife’s ongoing illness must surely have been a factor?

        The only way it would work, imo, is if he spends a year training like a 59 y.o. driver and gets himself back into shape so that his physicality is able to endure 2-3 more years as a top team boss, the minimum he would have to invest (and be expected to invest) in turning around a loser like Ferrari again.

      3. Jon_C says:

        No not really frighetning. Didnt do heaps at Mercedes. Would choose Newey/Vettel any day.

    3. Dimitar Kadrinski says:

      It is very hard for me to believe that Mercedes (the company) allowed people like Wolf and Lauda run the team. It is even harder to believe they allowed them to kick Brawn out…(they actually did this, by not leaving him any options. This is not consequence, this is planned!). They will be so sorry in 2015 or even mid 2014 when they start missing his aura. Trust me on this.
      And Lauda, the impressive driver he was, is nowhere near a person able to run a team and I don’t even want to start on Wolf.. the guy needs SOME racing spirit in him at least… Businessman dont run F1 teams… they ruin them!

      1. chrisnz says:

        Agree with you there. The last significant time a team had dual team principals which will be the case next year with Wolff and Lowe, was the Jaguar days which also involved Lauda.
        And we know how well that turned out lol… just sayin.

  2. Wouter says:

    Brawn to Williams? That rumour has been floating about a bit. :)

    1. Grant H says:

      Yeh i read the frank williams was planning on contacting ross about the post, that would be fantastic as williams are lacking in that respect, I dont think much of the spoilt rich girl in charge of williams at the moment, i would love to see a williams revival, i cant see how he could fit in with the other big teams, ross always seemed quite vocal in that he would only continue if he was the single reference in merc – ferrari / RB or macca are unlikely to offer him that place

      1. Rob says:

        Anti-feminist! It’s great to see more women involved in F1 and someday a girl racer will come along and kick some butt.

      2. Erik says:

        Yeah, Suzie Wolf comes to mind, lol. She deserves to be there, haha.

        I hope F1 stays the pinacle of motorsport, not some female marketing excercise.

      3. Ot says:

        It is not anti-feminist to call out less talented women in a business. Just because they are women does not mean you have to respect their lack of skill and talent.

        There is not 1 woman in F1 at the moment that deserves to be there or replaced by a guy that could not do better. It is all politically correct BS that gets them/keeps them there

      4. Grant H says:

        Not at all – the fact she is a women has nothing to do with it, i just dont think she had earnt that position on merit….what has she achieved in motorsport other than be a daughter to the legend that is frank….and lets be honest u cant even compare Ross Brawn to clair williams, Ross is on a different league!!!!

      5. Sam says:

        But there’s another girl on command of a respectable team! Her name is Monisha Kaltenborn and she’s Team Director of Sauber!!!

      6. John Wainwright says:

        Have to strongly disagree with you regarding Claire Williams. Far from being a “spoilt rich girl”, she has constantly impressed me this season in particular her comments following Pastor’s outburst a few weeks ago. Very professional lady with an obvious love and respect for Williams and all they stand by. A real racing team.

      7. Erik says:

        A real racing team, really?.. are you looking at the gp results backwards?..

      8. J.Danek says:

        supposedly she’s earned every advancement at Williams on merit, but wasn’t Maldonado referring to her when he commented negatively on the changes in team composition that led to an erosion of his trust in the organization?

    2. Alex says:

      It would be nice to see Ross at Williams and lead a sustained revival. However, my sense is that unless your name is Williams or Head then you’ll only ever be an employee at Williams: is that what Ross wants?

      1. Erik says:

        Not true, Wolf showed up with a lot of money and subsequently ran the team for a while, with not much success.. now he’s off at Merc trying on the same trick – let’s see how he gets on…

      2. Andrew Carter says:

        He only did the job for a year and they did win a race in that time. Before that he was closer to being a silent partner.

  3. Kieran says:

    Ross Brawn has always struck me as a kind and really decent man, and he demonstrated that best when, having won with Brawn, he did not talk t about the win but about how sorry he was to have to had cut the staff numbers back.

    Is it too much to hope that he’ll go to Williams, maybe not to get back on the pitwall but as some sort of technical director or adviser for them? He and Frank are really old school racers, they’d probably get on quite well!

    1. Sami says:

      A great man. Nobody will ever take from him that he brought back to victory a works Mercedes team. And being far away from a competitive budget, as Michael Schumacher hinted when he retired.
      I, for one, will miss him greatly. All the best Mr.Brawn!

      1. Me says:

        “And being far away from a competitive budget, as Michael Schumacher hinted when he retired.”

        Really? and he knew the budgets of all the other teams to know that they weren’t competitive?

      2. Really! How come you did not know how close he was to Brawn and Haug to be informed about that matter?

    2. Phil says:

      My lasting memory of him too. A great man; hopefully not the last we’ll see of him.

  4. Mike says:

    I hope that Mercedes loss is Williams’s gain.

  5. Dmitry says:

    I really didn’t like this guy in his Ferrari time… I don’t know why in particular, may be it was just the red color…
    regardless, I am really glad I’ve changed my mind and could look at him without prejudice.

    And I can now easily say that he indeed is one of the best out there. What he did with Ferrari, Honda\Brawnd and Mercedes can’t be considered anything else as a big success. Of course there were hard times and controversies, but F1 always was like that.

    It’s a bit sad he is leaving Mercedes, who knows what will happen next year, it would have been great to see him leading them to some great results!
    As of the future personally I think he should take some FIA role.

    1. Sebee says:

      He was one of the masterminds of a ruthless winning machine. Not everyone was happy. I was always surprised he didn’t call it a day after Ferrari. And for the record, I’m a huge Brawn fan. Big loss for Mercedes.

      I wonder how all those Mercedes team members who’s jobs he saved feel about him being edged out. No matter how they spin it and what words they say, the actions of Mercedes were clear. It just didn’t look like he was wanted. He was a hot potato – hard to handle. …they couldn’t fire him or they would instantly lose the total commitment of many team members. I bet you many of the Mercedes guys would have followed Brawn into a fire. I bet you the won’t follow the newly hired execs.

      1. Backhouse says:

        agree with you. Looks like the Mercedes will be good in 2014. How good it is in 2015 will show if Mercedes have made a mistake or not.

      2. J.Danek says:

        I wonder how HAMILTON feels about Ross being edged out?!

        Does Merc. seriously mean to tell us that a triumvirate of Lauda, Toto, and Paddy will master the leadership issue on the sporting side? NFW.

        Poor Lewis…

      3. Sebee says:

        Championships have been won by teams that don’t have Ross. But to that team he was a certain iconic figure and a motivator. But without resources he couldn’t do it with Schumi.

        Lauda, Toto, Paddy aren’t nobodies. They have skill, knowledge, and now a wide open wallet of Mercedes…something Ross didn’t have. I don’t think it will be bad at Mercedes and potential is clearly there.. What I wonder is if those troops are going to step it up and rip their guts out for this leadership to win, or is a sniff of winning will be motivating enough. We will soon know. Seems like they dropped off about the time all this Ross leaving talk broke out, no?

      4. Robert says:

        I have never agreed with you, Sebee, so much before….

        +1000 from me to.

        A real gentleman in what used to be a gentleman’s sport…forced out by new money.

        Good luck Ross, and whatever you do, I hope that you find fulfilment in it. My personal hope is that you land in Woking and are reunited with Jenson for a repeat of 2009…a small chance that, but one can but dream….

      5. Sebee says:

        Robert,

        We should all remember for a second, that Ross leaves a very wealthy man after Mercedes buying the team he got free. There could be a whole other angle to this story. Could be that Ross wanted out the minute he sold the team, but Mercedes demanded he stay on 3 years. Or the purchase by Mercedes could have been dependent on Ross getting Schumi to come back for 3 years. Something to think about when we think he was forced out by money. It could well be slightly different color of gray, and not that black and white. Just a little fine print to our comments.

    2. Grabsplatter says:

      I only warmed to him when he told us that Brawn was nearly called Tyrrell on the basis that it started out in Uncle Ken’s garage.

  6. Matt W says:

    Strange decision from Merc in my opinion. Brawn would be top of a lot of people’s lists to manage their F1 team. He has a proven pedigree, and those that replace him don’t have anywhere near his credentials. He led the team back to 2nd in the championship after some very challenging post Honda restructuring.

    I think if I were Ron Dennis I would be putting in a call to Brawn to replace Whitmarsh.

    1. Richard says:

      Don’t think Ron is still in charge of that stuff?

      1. Kay says:

        Ron is the shareholder of McLaren, Whitmarsh is only an employee. So why can’t Ron have a say in who runs the McLaren F1 team? Ron nominated Whitmarsh to replace his team principle role afterall.

    2. Phil R says:

      He’d love to given their relationship at the moment, but can’t get it past the board. Mansour Ojeh is a massive Whitmarsh supporter.

    3. Jason says:

      Strange indeed!

      Imagine Merc fishing for sponsors and saying. -The team is run by Toto and Paddy. :)

    4. Robert says:

      If Ron wants Ross, there are ways to elevate Martin into a larger corporate role and let Ross run the team per se. One can only hope that they are so creative….

    5. Jorge Moreira da Costa says:

      Not such a wild guess as one might think, taking into account that Brawn is probably the person around with the largest experience in dealing with the present Honda manufacturing outfit.

  7. Troy says:

    Dear Ross,

    Make a Williams fan very happy and head on over to run the shop how you see fit with Pat Symonds left to focus on the technical development!PLEASE!

    1. Mr Brooksy says:

      Please please please!

      We have suffered enough in the past decade, time for some upturn in fortunes in the form of Brawn back at Williams!

  8. bearforce1 says:

    I doubt this was an amicable decision/arrangement and as a result I think it a little sad.

    1. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Agree with you there, seems the efficient German machine had made the board room decisions at a time it seemed to make more sense and nothing would alter this.

      Wonder how their car will go in 2014, not in a straight line but if it will have better downforce, if it will be better on tyres – or will it be like Mclaren 2013.

      Wonder how Lewis will react with Toto instead of Brawn.

      1. AuraF1 says:

        Well Lewis will be dealing with Paddy Lowe who he’s known for years from his career at McLaren. Toto will be running the business and sponsorship side of things rather than Lewis’ day to day team interaction.

        I suspect the one rueing this more is Nico Rosberg. He’s had years to show Ross his allegiance. Paddy Lowe is likely to be more inclined towards Lewis (understandably given he’s watched Lewis grow up in his cars).

      2. Not sure. Rosberg has been more consistent with regards to tyre management which will be crucial again next year.

        Had he retired just the once in the season and ordered to stay behind Hamilton in Malaysia, he would have would have finished level on points albeit the fact they are very close (189 to 171).

      3. AuraF1 says:

        My comment was not suggesting Lewis is better or will do a better job than Nico – more that Lewis won’t be too worried by Paddy Lowe being his new direct team principal since Paddy knows him well and natural human bias will generally lead people to what they know.

        In technical terms I think Lewis’ style and feel probably just isn’t suited to the way F1 is going next year. Like all arguments about ‘the greatest’ driver, raw talent is only applicable to the formula being driven in. Right now Vettel is clearly ‘the greatest’ for these particular cars with these sorts of tyres and this type of qualifying etc. In the same way, I think Nico is likely to suit the 2014 regulations more than Lewis (but I still think he’s not going to be horrified Brawn is gone – as the relationship with Paddy Lowe will be familiar enough to make him feel right at home).

  9. Ryan says:

    Enjoy retirement Ross!

    Where did Nick Fry end up in all of this post-Honda/BrawnGP changeover?

    1. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      He went back to the family business, making chocolate bars with those pepperminty centres.

    2. Michael says:

      Somehow, I don’t think he’s retiring just yet…

  10. carl says:

    Good luck Ross, sorry to see you go, however wouldn’t it be great for him to pop up as the technical reporter for Sky or the BBC. He would be able to put some real insight into teams stratagies during a weekend + I think hes always come accross ok in front of a camara…

    1. J.Danek says:

      dude, they couldn’t pay him enough to suffer that humiliation…TV F1 tech commentary is the preserve of the low-level redundant staffers like Steve Matchett w/ NBC in USA (prev. Speed) or even Gary Anderson on BBC. A WCC/WDC winning team boss like Brawn does not lower himself to that level (no offense to Anderson or even Matchett, but c’mon…that would be like a former Prime Minister or POTUS becoming a talking head on cable news!).

  11. Mathew says:

    A shame, but no big surprise really… I’m sure he’d be an asset to any team that wants him.

    James have you heard anything from the rumour mill in regards to where Brawn might be heading, if anywhere, next year?

    1. jim says:

      Sutherland……

  12. superdad says:

    its hard to hold someone back when you have your foot in the middle of their back, good luck ross

    1. Random 79 says:

      Very true and well said.

      It’s kind of petty to say, but I kind of hope Mercedes go downhill next year – it would be a lesson for them :)

      1. jim says:

        I already hoped that when they booted out Schumacher-that old, past it racer whom stuck it on Pole in Monaco in his final year

  13. David McVey says:

    Hi James,

    If you get the opportunity whilst signing the 2013 books please can you write “To Noah, Merry Christmas” in my copy. It’s for my son.

    All the best!

  14. Sebee says:

    I’m going to guess the Schumi/Ross photo is 2006 Monaco?

    1. Glennb says:

      and the photo taken immediately after qualifying ;)

      1. Sebee says:

        Why the blinky eye Glannb?

        What exciting unusual thing happened that day? Schumi got a well deserved pole, that’s all. Right? The total number of poles for Schumi stands at a bautiful and symbolic 69.

  15. Josh says:

    What a shame after all of the long hours he’s put in. He’s been invaluable to Mercedes, a great thinker and strategist. Whether Toto and Paddy will hit the mark time will only tell. All the best Ross, you will be missed.

  16. Lee says:

    Spectacular own goal by Merc. This seasons success does nothing to convince me that they’re not just Toyota in disguise.

    1. Random 79 says:

      If they are a Toyota in disguise then I’m betting on Decepticon.

    2. TimW says:

      yeah very similar, apart from the wins, fast car, decent drivers, high constructors championship position, continued upward progress and ability to hire and retain top level technical staff, apart from that it’s difficult to tell the two teams apart…

      1. Lee says:

        Well if you want a literal interpretation then you’re right but my comment clearly found clear blue sky over your head. I was drawing comparisons between. Toyota and Mercs corporate centric approach to F1. Like Toyota Merc is run by committee, and seems determined to do away with the accepted recepie for success in f1. In Toyotas case they decided to base there operation in Colone. In Mercs case it’s not having a traditional management structure. In my view they are making the same mistake as Toyota in trying to innovate on the tried and trusted. Something else they share is the same goal – the World Championship. So what if they’ve won races. I said despite the success. In my view Merc will not achieve their goal and win the WC because they are ignoring accepted F1 wisdom and are making senseless decisions like this in boardrooms by people who have never been on a pit wall – and before you start dont even suggest that Wolff or Lauda made this call. This has got Stutgart written all over it. Throw money at the problem that’s how to get success in F1 apparently.

        What’s the matter too subtle for you?

        Well Toyotas F1 car was red and white and Mercs are silver, right and Toyota starts with ‘T’ and Mercedes with an ‘M’ so they’re completely different……….sigh

      2. Me says:

        All bought…

    3. Equin0x says:

      Ha at least Toyota built up their massive state of the art factory in Cologne from scratch, Merc basically bought Brackley from Brawn and the Ilmor’s Brixworth engine business and rebadged them Mercedes.
      Toyota was a much more impressive project just a shame they never managed to hire a top driver or a winner of a team principle like Ross, but saying all that apparently Toyota’s 2010 chassis was going to be magnificent before that board meeting, oh well we’ll never know now but the factory is still in good use with their LMP1 program and also helping teams like Ferrari develop their cars.

      1. There was an interview with Trulli in F1 Racing mag I think where he described the way Toyota were functioning as an F1 team.

        I think he implied they needed much more than a top driver.

        Remember how they managed to lose Bahrain in 2009?

  17. VanD says:

    Was Humpty Dumpty pushed or he fell by himself?

    1. Carl says:

      Apparently it was deemed a racing incident and no further action was taken…..

  18. FernanDino says:

    Yes, James, it was inevitable. I am a bit sorry Ross Brawn’s career ends like this. I’ve said it before, I think he himself screwd up the so called “communication” for the past 18 months about his pre-retirement plans. It was a real case study of how “Not To Do It”.
    Now the plan A has to be: Work for the FIA. Everything else would be a plan B, or even C.
    Ross, I wish you tons of non-OGM wild salmons.
    Good luck from a real fan! :-)

  19. Elie says:

    Fitting end to a successful team development in what must still be seen a short period if time. Whilst it’s disappointing not to see him at the helm of Mercedes it’s been coming since Schumacher retired . I said last year he would leave Mercedes one way or another this year and it was pointless recruiting Paddy Lowe without this end in sight.

    I can’t see him going back to Italy at 59 and starting again. From Ferrari point of view he would deal because the structural and technical problems they’ve had have been linguering for too long and I think Domenicali has left it very late to fix. Ross would be ideal for Maranello but I don’t see the reciprocal benefit for him.

    I think some gardening leave followed by a role as Director at Honda or Mclaren overseeing Mclarens 2015 programme would be exactly what Mclaren need to ensure a smooth and successful transition from Mercedes to Honda which everyone including Whitmarsh have acknowledged will be tough due to having to adapt a car for a new powertrain twice in succession.

    1. thinktank says:

      + 1
      + Unfortunately, Flavio is going to Ferrari.

      1. deancassady says:

        On what credible information the Flavio to Ferrari rumour, please?

      2. Tyemz says:

        J.Danek, yes,agreed. Ferrari or UPS or whoever must pretend to stand so high on the moral high ground that they fail to see a similarity between Singapore ’08 and Austin ’12, which is, deliberately compromising the #2 man’s race for the #1 to stand a chance. It doesn’t matter that one is a blatant disregard for the rules while the other is a bit like stretching the rules. The point is, when measured on the morality scale, they both come up to the ”win by all means” mark.

      3. J.Danek says:

        no way will Ferrari employ Flavio. Even after having his sporting ban overturned on legal technicality, there is no way that FIAT/Ferrari risk management officers will sign off on Briatore’s employment there, and UPS especially has some kind of a morality clause in their sponsorship agreement that would mean they walked (w/ Ferrari owing THEM) if the Scuderia tried to employ a criminal like Briatore…

  20. Paul D says:

    Ross will be back in some capacity in the future. He is motivated by success and the fire still burns bright.

    I’d love to see him at Williams where the teams primary focus is engineering not commercial interests.

    Paddy Lowe seems highly rated, but from the outside the facts are that 2 of his last 3 cars have been the 2009 and 2013 Mclarens. I’m still to be convinced.

  21. Lee says:

    Just a thought but is martin whitmarsh really up to the job at McLaren? He’s overseen the long slow decline of that team and has been responsible for some major lost opportunities. If you are the team boss of McLaren and fail to win the title when you have the fastest car and one of the best drivers then don’t question need to be asked?

    Brawn would be a great appointment, he knows Merc and Honda well and would be useful during their transition year between the two and he has all the knowledge of the supposedly fast 2014 Merc.

  22. Darren says:

    The three Brawn cars left the factory 3 weeks ago the guys at the factory saw this as the end of an era …

    1. HerrE says:

      Interesting, and that comes from reliable sources?

      1. Tim says:

        Interesting, and that comes from reliable sources?..

        James Allen website – good enough for you?

      2. Darren says:

        A good friend works there and sent some pictures to us..sorry James before you posted it

    2. Kay says:

      By that you mean the Brawn GP cars, right?

      That’d be interesting as that shows Brawn kept ownership of the cars to himself rather than having sold it to Merc along with the team back in 2010.

  23. Dutch Johnny says:

    I read some rumours that Ross Brawn was thinking about setting up a driving school with michael schumacher. That would be fantastic ofcoure but heres hoping he will land at wiliams or mclaren for a grand finale!
    If he does retire i wish him well.

    1. Nick_F1 says:

      That would be great !

      Just to imagine they are growing “young MSs or Vettels” for F1 , perhaps even for their own future team, and at some point there is another driving scool comes (Alonso’s) and that would be a battle like in China films: one scool vs another :)

      Sorry, that my dreams … :)

    2. JimmiC says:

      I’ve got this image now of Schumi and Ross with clipboards in an identical pair of Honda Jazz’s with huge ‘L’ cones on the roof.

  24. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

    Ok, it’s November and he’s out.

    Spend all December fishing, enjoy it, get it out of the system, the salmon are out at sea, it’s a bit cold out anyway.

    On Jan 1st, back to F1 to fix the bloomin Ferrari development.

  25. Richard says:

    I don’t think we will see Ross on the pit wall again, and I think he will first spend time with the family both and at home and on holiday to collect his thoughts. That said I hoped he would stay in his existing role for another year, but clearly Mercedes management have other ideas on the team managment structure, and that I think Ross disagrees with in regard to himself. He wanted ultimate control of the team that they were not prepared to offer. I suppose the question now is can they cut it without him, I expect so, but the calm authority of Brawn will be missed.

    1. J.Danek says:

      He’s going to assume the soon-to-be-created FIA position of “F1 Czar”. James is aware of these rumors but no doubt hasn’t reported them yet b/c the position only exists unofficially, referenced in a Rencken article and emailed statement of Ward before he withdrew/conceded. Once Todt is officially “elected” to another FIA term then things will progress rapidly.

      1. Richard says:

        Well you know what happened to the “last” Tzar! – Not sure if the FIA is the right environment for Brawn. No doubt we’ll see, but he may simply decide to hang up his spurs and take up gardening. I think we may see him from time to time visiting Mercedes at the races to see how things are progressing in 2014.

  26. John Marshall says:

    This seems a bit too sugar coated. I can’t help but think this was not really Brawns’s decision, as they seem to want us to believe. It’ been obvious for a while that Brawn was the odd man out.

    I guess we’ll have to wait to see how it turns out, but I don’t think this is a great move by Mercedes.

  27. Ben says:

    In the opening line of the story you say ‘The most anticipated story of 2013 has finally reached its endgame’ I have to disagree. Judging from the comments above on this story and others, I think the most anticipated story is what is Ross Brawn going to do next!

    I would love to see Brawn help Williams back up the grid (one of my earliest memories of F1 was Damon Hill winning for Williams) or bring his considerable experience to the mighty McLaren. If he doesn’t continue working in the pit lane I’d really enjoy him taking on a commentating, or some other role, for the BBC. Although he’d have to work on sounding a bit more excited ;-)

    So come on James this is what we really want you to find out!

    1. J.Danek says:

      FIA F1 Czar.

      James to report this in week 1, month 1, Q1, 2014…

    2. Robert says:

      You are right…the best use of Ross is to go help a former star privateer team – either Williams or McLaren – rejoin the fight for the top steps…

  28. Mocho_Pikuain says:

    Rumours on the paddock say he might be going back to Ferrari. When Domenicalli was asked about that he said that if someone better than him was to come to Ferrari he would move 100% sure if that meant an improvement for the team. It looked a lot like if he was preparing Brawn’s arrival…

  29. Graham Court says:

    Sorry to see Ross leave Mercedes but he’s a really nice bloke and where ever he goes you know he’ll be welcome.

  30. Richard D says:

    With Bernie dropping a hint that he is looking for a replacement for himself, who better than Ross Brawn?

    1. Gary says:

      Someone who understands the media and entertainment industry?

    2. Carl says:

      Yes please

    3. Fireman says:

      Why not? He’d replace Bernie’s facial expression of utter confusion with his infinitely calm poker face.

      Or maybe he goes to Red Bull. They haven’t been doing so great lately.

    4. Stuart Harrison says:

      This is my thought, glad someone else shares it :)

  31. Serrated_Edge says:

    If McLaren want to start winning races again Ross Brawn as team principal is a must.

    1. H.Guderian says:

      And a TOP driver, of course….

    2. Random 79 says:

      With all respect to the man not even he could have got them on the podium with the shonky MP4-PlentyHate.

      First and foremost you need a fast car and a fast driver.

      On a related note, we know that the F1 teams like to keep their old cars around the factory as part of their history, but any news on whether or not McLaren plan to do that with the 2013 car or will it go straight to the crusher?

      1. Robert says:

        The McLaren engineers LOVE their MP4-28.

        It has a high-chassis. It taught them a lot about how a high-chassis and push-rod suspension should work.

        It has helped them re-tune their CFD simulations for a high chassis after 16 years of a low chassis.

        It sucked in races, but from a development POV, it was a necessary step given the lack of testing.

        If McLaren have success with their 2014 or 2015 cars, remember this – it all started with their 2013 pathfinding car, that won no races, but got them a ton of data.

      2. dren says:

        Don’t the regulations next year require a lower chassis? I see everyone running pushrod fronts next year.

      3. Random 79 says:

        I think “love” might be overstating it a bit, but it’s still an interesting point.

  32. Andrew M says:

    I hope Mercedes know what they’re doing, I can’t help but feel it would have been better to keep him on in his current role, even if Lowe and Wolff nominally reported to him day-to-day. Mercedes have some real talent working on their cars, with all they hype about them being the team to beat in 2014 this is probably their best shot since 2009 (although to be honest I’d support anyone giving Vettel a stern challenge at this juncture).

  33. Aadil Khota says:

    But of course Ferrari are way to thick to capitalize on Brawn’s availability

    Anyone with half a brain can tell that Ferrari need Ross Brawn as team principle. Merc’s performance this year is proof of that!

    But Stefano Domenicali is greatest team principle of all time!!!! Nobody else can run a F1 team like him!!! “according to Ferrari”

    Domenicali reduced Ferrari from being world champions “which they were when he took over”
    too a team that finished off this season struggling to beat Sauber for pace.Yes Sauber!!the same team who didnt have enough money to pay their electricity bill on time last month!!

    its not the wind tunnel to blame or lack of testing the fact is Ferrari are loosing because they run poorly!!!

    Red Bull arent just winning because of Newey or Vettel, they winning because Christian Horner knows what the hell his doing!!

    Christion Horner knows how to run a team and he knows how to run a “winning team”!!!

    So does Ross Brawn!!!

    if someone cant accomplish something in 6 years chances are they never going too!!!
    if Stefano Domenicali couldnt do it by now he will never do it!!

    James Allison is 1 of the best technical directors around but his not a miracle worker!!
    I hardly believe his arrival is suddenly going to turn Ferrari into this mighty force that’s going to decimate the rest of F1!!

    Ferrari must be joking if they think by some miracle they going to be champions next year!!that very thought is laughable!!!

    Ferrari made all these big changes last year well all those changes have amounted to squat zitch zero!!
    they ended this season even more sh!t then they were last year!!

    They blamed the wind tunnel last year!Well this year they using the Toyota wind tunnel arguably the most advanced on the planet!

    and….. thats helped so greatly that they still develop parts that not only don’t work but make the car slower!!!

    they must be the only team on the grid who develop their car backwards!!!

    [ mod]

    The day Ferrari stop with the excuses the day they stop blaming wind tunnels and lack of testing and lack of simulators the rest of all that horse sh!t!!

    The day Ferrari admit that the team they have is not good enough is the day they will start progressing towards being champions again!!!

    The excuses need to end!!

  34. C Lin says:

    My wild guess is Brawn is taking a break, go fishing & come back later to replace Jean Todt when he steps down as FIA President in the next election.

    1. dren says:

      Brawn has said in interviews he doesn’t care much for the political side of F1. I can’t see him doing anything within the FIA.

  35. Nick_F1 says:

    Dream team has left Merc, at first it was MS, then Haug and finaly Ross.

    There was a progress, constantly 2010->2011->2012->2013. Even not seen sometimes in points, but it was obvious why. Now, since 2013, they have what they should have since 2010 – and no excuses in 2014.
    Actually they should not have excuses already in this year but this is another story about why both drivers and the team didn’t deliver more.

    And it will be a different team since now, as before there was a understanding what they need to make a progress and now I am not sure who has that vision …

  36. Athlander says:

    I’m intrigued by the statement that the structure at Mercedes is clearer than that at McLaren – what is McLaren’s structure?

    1. Paul D says:

      Never got my head round Mclaren’s management / governance structure.

      Clearly not working whatever it is.

  37. ManOnWheels says:

    That is devastating news. I would have loved to see him at Mercedes for the next two years.

    Even more devastating are rumors about Sauber merging with Marussia. That would mean 2 seats less in Formula 1, for that I blame you, Bernie Ecclestone!

    1. dren says:

      First I’ve heard about a merge. Where did you hear that?

  38. JB says:

    Brawn equals Horner + Newey. In other word, he can lead both the technical and the team.
    I feel that Lauda, and Lowe will have big shoes to fill despite its two people fitting into one seat.

    Personally, i hope to see him come again. I think that will happen as long as Newey is around.

  39. Sarvar says:

    Mr. Brawn has natural leadership traits & charisma but neither Mr. Wolf nor Mr. Lowe can be seen as a team leader. One I see as a pure businessman another one as a talented technical director.

  40. Valentino from montreal says:

    Mercedes are not the second best this season , not by a long shot ! McLaren dropped the ball with their car this year and Ferrari would have finished 2nd in the constructors if Massa was more consistent with his driving ..

    Mercedes improved a bit = their car broke down a lot less than in 2012 … They won 1 race this year that was legitimate , Monaco ( the same race that Schumacher should have won 12 months earlier ) and the other 2 wins that the team achieved was down to their illegal advantage of their secretive Pirelli test …

    Ross Brawn and Schumacher , linked forever ..

    L

    1. Elie says:

      I hope not!!- one still has a lot to offer a team and the other should have stayed out in 2006 ! : )

  41. Richard says:

    There wasn’t much left for him in Formula One anyway. Or is it…?

  42. Sebee says:

    What’s all this excitement on the wires?

    Mercedes V6 catches fire on the bench and requires a bunch of fire department Mercedes Unimogs to return home to help?

    Luca bans Alonso from talking about Ferrari on his Twitter? Now that’s hilarious. Guess he can finally tell us all there is to know about Spygate.

    And Haug throws is opinion into the mix saying he doubts Ze Vettel can be stopped by Ze Benz in 2014.

    Well, there sure is a funny story or two out there today.

    1. Sebee says:

      Just wondering…is Ferrari about to hire some German firemen for their engine shop?

  43. jmv says:

    *It would be a VERY sad day if this is that last of the Great Ross Brawn in Formula 1

    *It would be the BEST DAY for Formula 1 if Ross Brawn joined Williams F1

    ….
    Please Bernie, please be behind this.

    1. Chromatic says:

      He’s only 59. He’ll be back.

  44. Joe says:

    It was likely but it’s a massive shame. A big reason to actually try and like Mercedes is now gone. Some would say he isn’t but for me Hamilton is the only thing to really like about that team that’s left. Toto and Lauda are just two slimy lizards. When Brawn GP changed to Mercedes, I lost a lot of emotion that I had towards the Brackley team. Now, I have even less. I sort of hope they don’t do well next year. It wouldn’t be the same without Ross there. Imagine Toto and Lauda thinking a lot of it was down to them….

    1. dren says:

      I liked the team initially because they had Honda power. I’ve stuck with them and became a huge Brawn fan. Now I really have no reason to, although I’ve started liking Hamilton a bit. Hope Brawn reunites with Button and Honda at Mclaren.

    2. Tim says:

      Toto and Lauda are just two slimy lizards….

      Wow, that’s a bit harsh! What has Lauda ever done to deserve that sort of comment? His life story is extraordinary and his determination and courage beyond question. Don’t know much about Toto, although if Frank Williams was prepared to put him in charge of his beloved team, I guess he can’t be too bad. Frank is no fool and wouldn’t put any old Toto, Dick or Harry in charge :-)

  45. Spyros says:

    I really hope Mr Brawn will be back, and continue to amaze and surprise us.

    And James, this is clearly nit-picking but couldn’t you have picked a more flattering picture of the man?

    1. AlexF1 says:

      +1 that pic is nasty

  46. Chris Chong says:

    If he’s up for a challenge, I’d say he should join Caterham with the goal of getting a podium by 2016.

  47. Peter says:

    I see Ross Brawn either at FIA or at Ferrari in the future. Williams would be a too much of a long term project for him, McLaren is perhaps not his environment. A senior role with FIA would be a logical next step for him with maybe a less intense work schedule. However the timing would be just right to go back to Ferrari and turn it again into a winning team. They have big re-organisation under way, the strongest driver line-up and stealing the WCH from Mercedes next year would probably provide him with some sweet feelings.

  48. Gogomobil says:

    Ross Brawn, simply just “BRILIANT” Engineer
    it was Ross initial rear diffuser that gave
    him a WDC in 2009 and consequehtly Red Bull
    further Four years to date.
    As a tactician he was and still is a Smoking
    Gun! One hopes he remain in F1.

  49. Sven says:

    Well, Toto Wolf has those shares in Williams. Gives food for thought.

  50. fox says:

    The worst thing here is they they came and ousted him.

    That Wolf is not a true F1 guy. He is like Richard Gere businessman from Pretty Woman. Operations and management without respect to the culture and people built before his arrival. Ross built that team, Ross survived Honda escape during crisis, Ross outperformed Newey with double diffuser. Ross was an asset. You have to respect and keep the DNA.

    I bet without Ross they will fail. Money will not help. Here is why. They have money for three years. They will have to rebuild the team without Ross. Three years is too short time frame for that. Hence they will run out of money and then fail with semi-new-team.

    I respect Mercedes for being in autosport for more than 100 years, but seeing their recent failure in DTM and strange things in F1 I am changing my mind. I always praised Mercedes high, higher than BMW (who won almost nothing in comparison to Merc, Porsche, Audi). Something is going wrong there at modern Merc, from my point of view. Let’s see who is right.

    And I wish good luck to Ross. He needs to find money for five years and knock them dead.

  51. simon mawdsley says:

    He walked past me in Sainsbury’s in Marlow in 2007. He wasn’t really smiling or anything, he was probably just popping in for a nice loaf of Warburtons Toastie, or something. So I don’t have a great deal of information to judge his character. If, however, you can judge a man by the manner in which he walks into a supermarket on a Saturday afternoon then I conclude that he is a thoroughly good egg. I wish him well for the future, and i very much look forward to seeing him in Sainbury’s in Marlow again. If I do see him then perhaps I’ll engage him in some idle chat about the price of fish. Perhaps I’ll just let him get on with his own business. I’ll see how I feel at the time.

    1. Steve wade says:

      Best post on here
      Made me smile
      Thanks

      1. Basil says:

        I second that!

      2. neilmsport says:

        Totally agree!
        I’m smiling too.

  52. Anil says:

    Dear Santa,

    Please take Ross Brawn back to Ferrari.

    Thanks,

    Anil

    1. fox says:

      why? they got Allison, Allison got ambitions. It should work. Ross will be a burden there.

      1. Anil says:

        Allison is the techincal director, whereas Ross would go there as Team Principal (replacing or being above SD).

    2. Phil Glass says:

      Santa’s biggest postbag is from RB fans!

  53. shri says:

    - McLaren and Ferrari I think are 2 solid alternatives replacing the current Team Principals or RB taking the spotlight on the Track.
    - The question would be will the Board of McLaren or LDM would want to do that.
    - Ferrari consistently not having best car for a few years now (reason to bring Brawn in and put Dominicali in the background).
    - McLaren had a poor 2013, and 2015 is arrival of Honda (reason to bring Brawn as Principal coupled with technical mastermind with full knowledge of Merc and having worked with Honda in the past).
    - Other team may not have the resources to hire him and Red Bull does not need him.
    - Not sure what he will do with FIA to satisfy his competetive juices.
    - For how many years can he catch fish ?

  54. AlexD says:

    I can only think of him as a team boss at mclaren or ferrari, nothing else

  55. Mr squizzer says:

    I think Mercedes could be about to shoot themselves in the foot ,I’m not convinced Toto or Paddy will have the know how to get out of a tight corner like Ross does.

  56. Robert says:

    Brawn to McLaren, Williams, Ferrari…….. Any of them would benefit from having him leading them right now.

  57. Mike from Colombia says:

    What on earth does Mercedes see in Toto Wolff?

    Excess to requirements. Has not achieved anything in F1.

    1. fox says:

      Norbert H did not deliver. They switched to Totto W. Just managerial switch.

  58. Olivier says:

    I am confused. He is leaving the party before it even started?! Wasn’t Brawn planning to finally enjoy the days of glory with Mercedes in 2014?

    Williams could do with a Brawn Turbo boost. His Mercedes knowledge could help Williams to rise from their ashes. Like a phoenix. Here’s hoping Bottas will bang wheels with Lewis again!

    1. Liam in Sydney says:

      Williams probably could not afford his salary. But maybe Ross can start buying some of the team??? :)

  59. Timmay says:

    It has been confirmed on news Brawn will lead Force India next season as it is closest to his house.

  60. Nel says:

    Lets hope he’s a Sir in the New Year Honours!

    I thnk he deserving it as much as the other F1 knights.

    Neil.

  61. Sebee says:

    The article foto gives me an idea how Ross can entertain himself and us as of January 1st.

    Any way perhaps that Ross would wish to test the Ariel Atom with a GoPro strapped to the dashboard a la Jeremy Clarkson?

  62. deancassady says:

    He could be the replacement Bernie (not too many could do that).
    On the Williams story; that just doesn’t sound like Ross Brawn. I am a big fan of Williams, but they are really far out there, right now.
    Ferrari: they have (supposedly) put all the pieces together; it would make a lot more sense than Williams.
    McLaren is also intriguing; they have the depth and infrastructure, certainly, and the move to Honda power in 2015, would certainly make it a contender for the services of RB.

    But ultimately, what does a guy like this really need to do in F1?

    The expulsion from Mercedes must be at least a bit distasteful; maybe he would like to really get away from it for a while; and a person as intelligent and with such keen insight into the actual mechanics of how F1 works, certainly knows that there is likely no going back, if you leave when that amount of change is underway.

    Amongst the rumours, some kind of tie-in with Honda seems the most aligned likelihood, to me.

    Though I would very much enjoy seeing him take over a team (any team) for 2014 and beat Mercedes.

    I send out positive to Ross, and recommendation to do what he loves most (so long as it doesn’t hurt anybody).

    1. Olivier says:

      With Williams he could be a real point of reference. This Team is currently re-building itself from the ground up. Ross could really make a difference here. He won’t be able to do this at Ferrari and McLaren. They already have their key senior people in place. + He might have to relocate to Italy if he were to be part of Ferrari.

  63. Ian Pringle says:

    One of my moments of the season was in Malaysia when Horner couldn’t stop Vettel overtaking Webber, then seconds later Brawn came on the radio to Rosberg and you just knew Nico wouldn’t ignore him.

    I suspect Lauda and Wolff really wanted to keep him and maybe even on Brawn’s terms but they have just hired far too many people.

    1. Robert says:

      Funny, I had the exact same thought at the time…as did others I suspect. Ross has gravitas in the sport, and in life. It’s not just that he’s an older dude that has done some stuff – it’s that he’s done some AMAZING stuff (some legal, some we wonder….), and when he speaks its as if he is on a different thinking plane than the rest of us…way more strategic and fully formed thoughts. There is this wry cynicism with him sometimes that says we are all playing a game, and I understand how it works…and few others do.

    2. German Samurai says:

      Rosberg didn’t overtake Hamilton because Hamilton is/was implicitly the number one driver in that team.

      Vettel is the number one driver at Red Bull.

  64. Methusalem says:

    Brawn with big “B”, simply the BEST, a champion with three different teams; Benetton, Berrari & Brawn GP. Without Brawn no Schumacher as a multiple-champion. I like his calm personality, he’ll definitely be missed!

  65. Steve C says:

    It always a mistake to work for the company you once owned and then sold. New owners always have idea’s of how they want to run it and Mercedes clearly have, so it was inevitable Ross would leave at some point. It seldom works out. Been there done that type of thing myself!!

    1. aveli says:

      brawn should have bought into mercedes when he had the chance instead of allowingttoto and nikki to buy ot from right under his nose. he’s great at hisjob butnot so great at noticing that opportunity.

  66. ‘The first man to take a team bearing his name to a double world championship since Brabham’? Poor Frank Williams, half this story is about him and yet he’s completely overlooked despite the fact that’s achieved the same at least twice.

    1. Dimitar Kadrinski says:

      +1

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      I’m guessing Enzo Ferrari is forgotten too…

  67. Steve says:

    Just want to say I highly respect Ross and am sad to see he is leaving Merc. It seems as if Merc were worried about their lack of success after 2009 and brought people in to replace Brawn – which might have been a bit rash – it seems like Ross was pulling things together after all. I just hope Toto and Paddy can do a good job…actually Toto seems quite competent and Paddy is the techie…we’ll have to see. But I’ll miss Ross – probably my favorite team boss overall. His win in 2009 was epic.

  68. j says:

    Brilliant moves from Wolf. The 2014 car must be complete enough to get rid of Brawn and take all the credit next season. Assuming he didn’t pull the trigger too soon.

  69. Mike from Colombia says:

    Whenever I see Wolff on TV, I cannot avoid thinking that he has a bit of Sasha Baron Cohen’s “Bruno” about him….

    Anyway…

    Mercedes hit the panic button after the disappointment with Schumacher’s comeback. Now we can see that Schumacher was not that bad at all.

    Norbert Haug carried the can and they made the rash decision of handing over to Toto Wolff who seems to be hanging onto Paddy Lowe’s coat tails.

    Brawn’s efforts over the years then start to bear fruit and Mercedes worry that they may have made the wrong decision. Lauda then tries to work out some fudge where Brawn, Wolff and Lowe can stay on.

    Regardless of Mercedes regret, it could not risk fobbing off Lowe with any other job than team principal. He left a very good job at McLaren. To backtrack on a deal made with him would make it very difficult for Mercedes to hire senior staff in the future.

    1. Dimitar Kadrinski says:

      “To backtrack on a deal made with him would make it very difficult for Mercedes to hire senior staff in the future.”

      But didn’t they just did that with Brawn?…

      1. Mike from Colombia says:

        A shambles from Mercedes. Lost patience with Brawn, and then realized they made a mistake.

  70. JohnBt says:

    James, you should have a photo caption competition. What an expression for “I’m not done yet”.

  71. Warren G says:

    It makes me wonder whether all the hype about Merc next year is just that – hype. When Brawn knew in 2008 they had a great car that could compete for a championship, he moved heaven and earth to make sure the team made it to the grid come Melbourne.

    Now, according to the hype, he could be on the verge of reaping the rewards of his hard work rebuilding a team over 3 years and delivering an almost certain championship to a works Mercedes team since when? The 50′s? 60′s? A long time. And he decides to just walk away and hand the glory to Lowe? Hmmmmm, I don’t buy it.

  72. Spoo says:

    Not taking away anything from a great man but I have a strange feeling that Brawn is going to be on the other side of s fairy tale story this time.

    Previous time Honda invested millions and then a little more into a car which Brawn developed to a class above rest using his shrewd acumen. Honda developed cold feet giving rise to a dreamy/nightmarish story (depending which side of the fence you are on) and we got Brawn-Button-2009. A team that almost died, 100s of employees who almost lost their jobs, a driver who almost faded out of F1 and they got together to win a double world championship and Honda couldn’t enjoy the fruits they sowed.

    The strange feeling is that Brawn with his unquestionable expertise (also the huge budget and driver line up) might have exploited more and better loopholes than the others and Mercedes might start the year at the top. This time Brawn wont be there to enjoy the success of his hard work.

    You heard it here first…

  73. Phil Glass says:

    “Brawn can sign off having lifted Mercedes to second in the constructors’ championship”

    Not wishing to take anything away from Ross who is surely one of F1′s greats, no question.
    But, 2nd for Merc is the result of two very unfortunate things that occurred in Brazil: the absence of Kimi for Lotus, and the presence of Massa for Ferrari.

  74. Peter Freeman says:

    James,

    Not a single soul here has asked THE critical question: Is Lowe really a better option than Brawn?

    Merc clearly thought so due to the lack of success in the years following their purchase of Brawn prior to this 2013 season. But was this really a good assessment? Who could give us more insight into this? Who’s opinion could you get in an interview? What are your personal views?

    The notion that Brawn is a spent force and that his replacement was a necessity because despite his glorious past he is no longer able to perform his role is quite simply not true. Only RedBull could claim they would not benefit from adding Brawn to their team, every other team would be improved by his presence at the helm. So was this really THE right decision for Merc at this time? Are they really strengthened for 2014 by his absence at their helm?

    Personally I think not. But what really do I know about the abilities of Paddy Lowe to be able to comment? Who could give us some real insight James? The F1 fans would love to hear some genuinely insightful view from someone who knows…

    1. AB says:

      Its a good question, but perhaps we can refine it a little.

      Are Lowe and Wolff a better proposition that Brawn?

      In terms of the day to day running and development of a team, maybe.

      But, what about when an engineer comes up with a rules bending development like the double diffuser, or when the opportunity for a mid-season tyre test arises? Who out of Lowe or Wolff has the ability to not only run with these ideas, but then front the press, the FIA, the paddock with calm, erudite and utterly believable arguments that defend these decisions?

      For me, that’s when a team principal earns his money. His role is a blend of tech, money and politics and they are all interdependent, they are not discrete elements.

      Brawn, as TD at Ferrari and TP at Brawn and Mercedes is peerless in his ability to blend these disciplines. Only Christian Horner comes close.

      1. Peter Freeman says:

        AB, nicely put. Indeed there is a depth to be had in Brawn that makes him more than the sum of his individual abilities. I like the point you make about Brawn vs Lowe and Wolf, its more accurate than my questioning Brawn vs Lowe alone. I think Brawn has had a long hard think about sharing control of an F1 team and concluded that for him such a proposition holds more compromise than he is willing to accept. (My opinion)

        I also think that the team, now in a strong state of ascendency in the hands of Brawn (something any rival team would not like the prospect of at all) should have been left in his hands for at least one more season. (with all respect to the abilities of Wolf and Lowe) In fact I am bit astounded that memories are so short, or faith so small, in Merc’s management

  75. Kevin Green says:

    Going to be really interesting because of current form of certain teams on the on the grid you could picture him possibly stepping in and taking over at Williams (poss as stake holder) Mclaren Ferrari or Sauber but my tip is defo Williams while pretty much at the same time doing parts of the job claire is simply up to par enough on. By tip id defo Williams and of course there is the outside possible role replacing Bernie? we seems to be the nicest most honest of the lot with by far the finest track record wuile serving various teams so ideal candidate no?

  76. German Samurai says:

    Brawn’s only ever delivered his drivers the best machinery in 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2009 (that year was due to the liberal interpretation of the rules more than anything).

    I think Mercedes has seen the light in much the same way Ferrari have seen the light with Alonso!

    1. Random 79 says:

      Maybe that’s true, and yet he still helped Schumi win in 2000 and 2003 and has helped Mercedes get to 2nd in the WCC.

      Let’s see if Wolff and Lowe do that well without him.

      1. German Samurai says:

        Having by far the best driver in the world driving your car year after year is what flattered Ross Brawn’s record at Benetton and Ferrari.

        He only ever delivered Schumacher the best machinery in three seasons.

  77. Peter Freeman says:

    AB, nicely put. Indeed there is a depth to be had in Brawn that makes him more than the sum of his individual abilities. I like the point you make about Brawn vs Lowe and Wolf, its more accurate than my questioning Brawn vs Lowe alone. I think Brawn has had a long hard think about sharing control of an F1 team and concluded that for him such a proposition holds more compromise than he is willing to accept. (My opinion)

    I also think that the team, now in a strong state of ascendency in the hands of Brawn (something any rival team would not like the prospect of at all) should have been left in his hands for at least one more season. (with all respect to the abilities of Wolf and Lowe) In fact I am bit astounded that memories are so short, or faith so small, in Merc’s management.

  78. Hello says:

    Ross should go to Williams with Pat. He’s rich enough so dragging Williams back to the top is the only thing left for him to do.

    1. Darren Lin says:

      You’re right. They can form a good partnership.

  79. Marcelo Leal says:

    Interesting how some that believe in the “IF’s”, just put the “IF’s” for one side of the equation.

    IF Rosberg did not have DNF’s, he would be “close” to Lewis or better in points. ;-)

    C’mon, we are talking about F1! DNF’ is not just for Rosberg (Mark was the man to proof me right on this). And Lewis had two blowing tyres and DNF’s too.
    IF Nico and Lewis had no DNF or any mechanical or tyres exploding, Lewis would be years ahead of Rosberg.

    Who won the WDC in 2012?
    Vettel or Lewis Hamilton?
    The answer for the above questions, is the evidence that DNF’s are for everyone and is just part of F1. I know many are trying to “show” that Lewis is not that fast, and so they stick with that crazy 2011 year to make a point, but the truth is that Lewis smashed a two times World Champion, Kovalainen, Jenson, and in his first year in a new team, Nico. Always with race wins, and more poles than the team mate. You can try to change the facts, but the reality is just one.

    1. Dan says:

      lewis wdc was gifted to him by his buddy kindly pulling out of the way to let him get the points needed to beat Massa. His first podium of 2013 was handed to him when Ross told Nico not to pass lewis struggling on wrecked tyres. He’s imo only just on par with Nico. No more.

  80. Darren Lin says:

    It’s sad to see Ross Brawn leave F1. But someday will see him back. I hope he back to Ferrari or maybe like many rumors said that he will either go to Williams or Honda. If he go to Williams, he can form a partnership with Pat Symonds.

  81. stan unk says:

    i think he would take a year out and study the form. I dont think he is desperate to jump into a situation where he could spend 5 years trying to get a team to the top.
    but you never know.

  82. zombie says:

    Schumacher trailing Hakkinen by 5 seconds. Hakkinen pits first. Schumacher puts 5-6 blistering laps and pits. Goes out in front of Hakkinen. Brawns peels yet another banana. Classic moments. Goodluck Brawn ! You’ll be missed !

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