Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn has spoken openly for the first time about phasing out of his role and handing over to Paddy Lowe.
And it looks like he is thinking of this happening after the end of this season.
The 59 year old has given an interview in the German newspaper Die Welt this weekend in which he speaks about working alongside Lowe for the next six months and then a phased handover will take place, with Brawn moving to a new role.
It is believed that this will be along the lines of Patrick Head’s involvement with Williams for the last few years before his retirement.
When the news of Lowe’s recruitment by new Mercedes team CEO Toto Wolff broke in January, Brawn was on the back foot. At a press briefing, attended by JA on F1, Brawn used an aggressive defence, asserting, “I’m the team principal and I’m in charge, ” while rumours swirled that he had told incoming chairman Niki Lauda that he could not work with him.
Six months later and the team is on the up, second in the constructors’ championship with two wins, two podiums and six pole positions to its credit. Lowe is now in post and the two are to be seen in the paddock and on planes in each other’s company a lot.
“People of his (Lowe’s) caliber are not easy to come by. So it was clear that we should bring Paddy to us. However, the plan was designed more for the future,” said Brawn. “The idea was that my role in the team would change with time and Paddy would then take on more responsibility.
“There should be an ongoing process, so to speak. However he arrived earlier and we need to rethink our original plans. At the moment Paddy helps wherever he can. Paddy and I have known for over 20 years. We can talk about everything.
“I am responsible, Paddy works for me, but at some point in the future this will change. I will work with Paddy for the next six months, maybe longer. When the transition occurs, there will be a soft handover.
“I don’t know yet (exactly when he will step back). I’m already looking forward to the new season. 2014 will be a very exciting year, because a completely new technology comes into play. Mercedes will be in a promising situation. It will be great fun!”
As for the specific role he will play in the long term Brawn said, “I do not know what role I will play in the team long term. There are various options. I like the team and the people in a team.”