F1 Winter Break
Brawn set to leave Mercedes at the end of the season
Posted By: James Allen  |  29 Oct 2013   |  11:31 am GMT  |  208 comments

Ross Brawn is set to step down as team principal of the Mercedes F1 team at the end of the season, according to the BBC Sport Website and Eddie Jordan.

Mercedes has refused to comment and a team spokesman told this website, “The team is making no comment. When we have something to announce we will do so.”

However Jordan’s sources have been pretty solid on Mercedes news for the past 14 months, due to long standing connections with one of the most senior figures in the organisation.

He predicted the hiring of Lewis Hamilton last year and has run a narrative all this year that Brawn is on his way out of the team. Our own sources during the Indian GP weekend indicated that Brawn was reaching the end of the road on negotiations over his role.

The 58 year old Brawn has been in limbo ever since incoming executive director Toto Wolff and chairman Niki Lauda made a move to hire Paddy Lowe from McLaren in January.

Originally a “soft handover” was scheduled, with Brawn gradually releasing control to Lowe over a period set to stretch into 2014. Then Brawn said last month that he would like to stay with Mercedes, but only if he could remain the “reference point” for the team.

It appears that the negotiations have not resulted in any conclusion over what role Brawn might fulfil in the vision Wolff and Lauda have for the team and so now Jordan’s sources say that Brawn will leave after the final race of this year.

He will be sad to do so, as he has expressed great interest in seeing not only the new 2014 turbo technology come through, but also the fruits of work he has done to build up the team to championship level. Lewis Hamilton has repeatedly spoken of Brawn’s presence at the team being one of the key reasons why he jumped ship from McLaren.

After three seasons in charge, following the sale of his Brawn team to Mercedes in 2009, Mercedes wasn’t making much progress, so the Daimler board called in Lauda and Wolff as executives and shareholders. They have a vision for the team in which Wolff runs the business and political side while Lowe runs the engineering and racing side.

Meanwhile Brawn, who will soon turn 59, may well have the appetite for a fresh F1 challenge, according to our sources in the F1 paddock. He has been linked with a return to Honda, when they partner up with McLaren in 2015, but no doubt other teams will be on alert. Brawn made a huge capital gain as main shareholder when his team was sold to Mercedes for £120 million after winning the 2009 world championship, so he doesn’t need to work again and his family has been expanding recently with the arrival of grandchildren.

But it may be that Brawn has one last F1 challenge in him, having won world titles with three F1 teams already, just like his nemesis Adrian Newey.

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It's a shame to see someone of his calibre be treated in this fashion. if he goes I'm sure Lewis won't be best pleased.

I'm equally sure he'll be rapidly snapped up by one of the other teams in the pit lane though as he's the real deal.


Wouldn't mind him going back to Ferrari to help build that team up!


With individuals of Brawn's calibre, most clouds tend to have a sliver lining.

It will be interesting to see where he lands.


Id love to see him at Williams. It would be epic to see Lotus and Williams at the front next year.


Tony Fernandez should bring Brawn in, even if it means giving Brawn 49% equity.

If Brawn turns Caterham into a Top 3 team, Tony will be selling Caterham cars in Asia like hot cakes. Car sales and corresponding branding benefits would be worth more than the equity given up.


that'd be very interesting indeed!


Too true. He comes across as one of the few key players in F1 with honesty and integrity.

Mercedes board, Lauder and Wolff obviously feel they know more than the guy who has masterminded so much success in F1. Arrogant presumption? Only time will tell.


+1! for "honesty and integrity" and ability as well.


What is wrong with his treatment?

It's a results orientated business, and Brawn missed the boat 3 years running.

I like him, but he is getting a bit long in the tooth for the cutting edge F1 circus.

He missed the boat completely regards the 60% windtunnel, only authorising an upgrade in 2012...

These are decision made at the top...and he was at the top.


I think that might be a little unfair. The team was whittled down to nothing after Honda left. So I think there was always going to be a few years to build it back up.

Also the guy is pretty cool. He won a world championship with a team named after himself. Way cool.


I think Black Jack did that, too.

Then, of course, there is that wee

Italian chappy ....


So did Sir Frank and Uncle Ken, theres a thought Brawn for Williams in 2014.


What if Mercedes wasn't giving him the needed resources in those 3 years? What if he was bridging the time until they finally opened the wallet?



I don't mean funding issues. I simply mean, not enough to participate properly in an F1 arms race for WDC/WCC contender status.

What Random says makes sense. It probably went like this: "Ross, we'll buy the team. Here is your strict board voted budget for next 3 years. Good luck."


Sadly it didn't work out! Also I didn't hear any issues with regards to funding the Merc F1 Team. Probably one of the most stable teams.


Possible. It would have been in Mercedes best interests to provide him with pretty much anything he asked for, but as I understand it they (like the new teams) entered under the illusion of a budget cap and they tried to stick with it...at least at first 😉

Two other reasons why they haven't done as well as expected:

At the start of 2009 the car was the best by a mile, but it could not be developed due to little to no budget, was left behind, and so the first hurdle was bringing the car back up to par.

The second hurdle is solving the tyre heating issues they've had and that's one that is still ongoing.

All things being equal they should win the WCC within the next few years...but this is F1 and all things are certainly not equal 😉


From the outside, I don;t think he is being treated other than an employee of the team.

Mercedes, whilst on the up, has not won championships, or been on the verge of it either.

It's just business.


Will it be 'just business' if the board decide to pull out of F1 if they don't win the title in the next three years, or if their marketing strategy changes?


I would think so, yes, business as usual.

Mind you, the last time they won a championship was with McLaren in 98, bearing in mind the factory team was McLaren in 09, and BrawnGP were merely a customer.

So that's pretty unlikely to happen anytime soon.

They will pull out eventually, we just don't know when.


Interesting times and I am sure you are right that it leaves Lewis in a difficult position.

Eddie Jordan, over the weekend, said that every team wants a 'Sebastian Vettel' for their number one car. And a 'Sebastian Vettel' for their number 2 car.

I guess this leaves Lewis having to stick around at Mercedes. Hopefully he has a contract for a second year!


I'm not aware of any team desperately seeking the services of Vettel.

Why would they, there's three other drivers on the grid better than him.


@Rob Newman

The one that Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen are better than..... (Sebastian Vettel)


LdM really really wants him, and that is more than enough.



We are discussing formula 1 here. Which Vettel you are referring to?


With respect to EJ , RBR don't appear to agree with his theory. If they did, why have they stuck with MW for so long? He is good, but he is no where near the 2nd best driver on the grid - if the rumours are true, they turned down 3 of the 4 best drivers on the grid over the last couple of seasons 🙂



As I said in my post, I think MW is (perhaps was) a very good driver. My point was, that EJ's latest theory was somewhat far of the mark (they often are) and that RBR racing, judging by their actions, do not appear to agree with it either.


Its not just about being a good driver but also being instrumentle to car setup. Adrian always said Mark is very sensitive to chassis dynamcs which is key to setup and one of RBs biggest strengths. Mark is mostly with in .2 of Seb in Q3 which considering he's 17kg heavier and almost 40 years old isnt too bad imo. EJ has loose lips and the teams know that so feed him info they want people to know.


Well done Mercedes board, following in the footsteps of the BMW board. You know your F1 well...cough cough.

Brawn/Symonds at Williams?

Brawn Hamilton and Alonso at McLaren 2015?

Brawn in Domenicalli out at Ferrari?

Brawn fishing while listening to the race on the tranny?


Clarkes4wheeldrift - hi Are you suggesting that Brawn goes fishing with transvestites ? :>)


+1 f1 needs a dictator to run the team, just one man, the wolf/lauda setup just screams chaos, I hope im wrong for lewis sake, but wolf just reminds me of the people in the city, buy a company for y a couple of years later sells it for x for personal profit, from the start you get the impression he intends to buy the team from Daimler benz, and then move it on..


If this is the case, who cares about F1? Not local Indians , because evidently most of the seating was empty.


Explain the promises of 2010, 2011 and 2012 respectively, please?

He had his time and now it's Lowe's turn.


In 2009, Brawn was forced to get rid of 30% of his staff due to not having enough money to pay them. Honda gave him a great car, and enough money to race it, but not enough money to develop it (or the next car). He had one major sponsor in 2009, so essentially, the 2010 car was the 2009 car with a few modifications.

He's been rebuilding the team ever since, and you can't do that overnight. To be seriously competing at the front of the field, and running second in the constructor's championship after three years is pretty good.

Compare with Red Bull, who bought Jaguar in 2004, and scored their first victory in 2009. By your logic, Red Bull should have fired Adrian Newey the previous year.


The team is currently fighting for the runner up in the championship, what do you mean "he had his chance"? Mercedes are on a steady rise and quite probably, if they don't mess up the car completely for the start of 2014, they'll be fighting for the championship.

I strongly suspect that Paddy Lowe was a kind of panic hire in 2012 and now they have to give him the kind of role they promised and this naturally clashes with Brawns current role.


Sigh: I just did that. Thank goodness for copy and paste 🙂

It would have been in Mercedes best interests to provide Brwan with pretty much anything he asked for, but as I understand it they (like the new teams) entered under the illusion of a budget cap and they tried to stick with it…at least at first 😉

Two other reasons why they haven’t done as well as expected:

At the start of 2009 the car was the best by a mile, but it could not be developed due to little to no budget, was left behind, and so the first hurdle was bringing the car back up to par.

The second hurdle is solving the tyre heating issues they’ve had and that’s one that is still ongoing.

All things being equal they should win the WCC within the next few years…but this is F1 and all things are certainly not equal 😉

Whoa...déjà vu! 🙂


Brawn at FIA!


Sort of a poacher turned game keeper scenario 😉


Wash your mouth out!


LOL Rich C - that made me smile big time.


Option 2 looks devastating!


Whats devastating about it while they are fighting it out Vettel would be winning!


Williams? Maybe a sabbatical first?


Where's the cash coming from and I'm not simply thinking of Brawn's salary.



Money isn't everything, but its a long ways ahead of whatever is second!


Come on McLaren senior management - jump and get yourself a proper team manager in Ross and start being the great team you use to be. I assume that Honda will also be very happy if they can work with Ross again.


It's all set.

McLaren + Honda + Brawn + Alo + Hulk.



+ Santander


I have appointed that combination from weeks ago. It would be great. But only for a 2015 scenario


So many people(not you op) seem to think Hondas engine is a world beater straight away in 2015, they were great in the back of a Williams and then a Mclaren in the 80's early 90's but they have not set the world alight since then.




Wasn't it the case that Ross found working with Honda a bad experience? I'd be surprised if he went to the McLaren/Honda based on what I've previously read.


"headline grabbing signing of senior management" = Martin´s exit strategy. Sorry Sam.


What does that mean for Mercedes' 2014 title challenge? Will it be "too man cooks and no chef"? Or everything is already set for success?


I think they improved only after Stuttgart took initiative and radically changed the management structure of the team. I also think the main person ever since is Toto Wolff, and I can't say that he makes no sense. His remaining equity interest in Williams raises questions, though. Contrary to what most of the (British) commentators seem to think here, I'd say it is still very much open question, and it remains to be seen where ousting of Mr Brawn will lead the team.


with Lauda and all the big egos at Mercedes, you needed a literally big guy who can say NO.

Paddy Lowe looks to me like a decent and weathered technical guy... but a team leader?

Watching from outside he doesn´t seem to be one. I could be wrong.

I hope Lewis talent doesnt get squandered in the wrong environment.


You mean appearance-wise hahaha.

F1 is not a marketing gimmick.



My point was you don't need be a 'wanna fit-in and look like other corporate executives' type of guy to build the best cars in F1.

Newey is anything but that.

Some of the best drivers have tattoos, wear earings, and some don't a sh***t (Kimi), which I like coz I love unique individuals.

This let's all look alike and behave the same way in FEAR of being misjudged is just utter nonsense.

Advertising and Marketing is of course part of F1, and that is orthogonal to the point I'm making above. Brands want to associate with winning teams regardless of certain individual's appearances and personal dress codes.


@ Grant isn't it? I thought thats why teams like RedBull are in F1...? Lets see, they own a winning F1 car with a young repeated WDC winner, they own a few football teams and they seeam to be to be sponsoring everything from the X Games to cliff-diving to the air races and the flugtag!....no matter what F1 used to be...you can be rest assured nowdays F1 is part marketing gimmick - sure it's still focuses around engineering and business accumin but saying it's not a marketing gimmick is stretching it a bit (in my humble opinion)


What are Mercedes doing!?! They could be on the brink of something special next year, and they go and disrupt that by letting Brawn go. I don't have much faith in Lowe or Wolff (yet) - experience counts, and they are losing the person who has built the team up from being nowehere into a race winning team.


BAR all over again...isn't it? Is it in this teams DNA to make things hard for itself?

Mercedes is in an all or nothing scenario here. They have committed so heavily that nothing short of a WDC will do. Yet the guy who is the saviour of the team and hero to many on that team is being edged out.

While the drivers are cool and get along the politics and battles have shifted into the management. I really wonder if they have the pixy dust that's needed for Mercedes to click and play at WDC level with all this drama. This is not an ecouraging development that makes men and women sacrifice like they need to win championships.


Pixy Dust, being a movable aero device, is not allowed.




He's suggesting RBR has it, and Mercedes can't "Bend it like Beck...I mean Bend it like Red Bull". 🙂


What are you talking about Sebee? Rich C is talking about Mercedes supposed Pixie Dust... nothing to do with the RB9!


Rub the floor really fast with your hands. REALLY fast.


What movable aero device you speak about? No one seems to be able to find anything that breachest permitted tests, or refined tests.

All I hear is theories really, and believe you me, I love theories. Meanwhile, FIA can't find a thing.

Did you hear? They heated the floor of the RB9 to 300 degrees C in India to see if it bends or flexes because someone had a theory. Result? No flexing, no bending.

Which makes me wonder, how do you heat up a floor without torch or fire to 300C in scrutineering? 🙂


I am always hoping for the resurgence of Williams and wonder if there is any scenario where, with the help of Brawn, they could rise phoenix like from their recent ashes?


I guess it's a possibility - you just have to imagine this one statement from Frank:

"Claire, you're fired."

If you can do that then by all means keep hoping 🙂


🙂 hahaha


Wolff wants to own 2014 success himself, this is how I see it. With Brawn on board it would be all down to the man who has built up the team. Said.


agree 100%


What if it's a giant failure?

Mercedes is in it all or nothing (out).


Agree 100%. Lauda said that he wanted Brawn to remain as team principal next year. I guess Wolff must have said no because he wants the glory for himself. Disappointing to say the least.


I think the board agreed to go with Lowe and boot out Brawn, mainly on the failure of the car/tyres, so they signed Lowe.

Then Brawn started winning, taking poles which put the board, Toto and Lauda in an awkward position.

So they stalled and have since tried to imagine some kind of fudged sharing of responsibilities come handover from Brawn to Lowe so the board save face. They can't afford to be seen to punt the very experienced guy who has won titles with other teams, and this team when it had his name on it, just as things improve. What if they had a slow start with Lowe, they would be crucified.

Brawn surely doesn't like the sharing concept, knows it wouldn't work, and said as much in an interview a couple of races ago. He must also realise he was for the chop just before Rosberg's wins, so how can he fully trust the Merc board? Is Brawn too big a character, too much of an 'overall team leader' instead of a 'tech-team leader', for Toto and the board?

Maybe reading too much into it, but that's what the blog/comments section is for...

They do have the new engine thing going for them, though it'll be interesting to see how they develop the car throughout 2014.



Great analysis!

The spin now seems to be "it's Brawn's decision to leave - Lauda wants him to stay as Team Principal".

But Team Principal could just be an empty title.

If the team carries on 2014 development making decisions without Brawn being in fact the leader (or the reference point - as Brawn puts it), they will just pin any 2014 failures on Brawn and squeeze him out.

Brawn sees the "chess end game being played out" and he has responded with some brilliant counter attacks (via media and public support).

In one move, he's messaged out to the various F1 owners - come up with a deal that betters what Merc is offering, and he's prepared to consider; and painted Merc as the big bad bully squeezing out the team leader that previously won the WDC and led the post Hamilton revival.


I'd love to see him go to Williams and try and revive the team.

With the greatest of respect to Clare Williams, I think the team could do with a figurehead like Brawn in the garage now Frank can't get to all the races.


I think Brawn and Clare could work well together. Let Brawn push the technical side, let Clair do business. Brawn > Head, Clare > Frank. Ish....


Rob Smedley will be an excellent acquisition also and if they can pull all these signings off it will give the team real momentum.

You get the feeling Williams still need a boost on the funding / sponsorship side and also a leading aero mind.

Aero has let Williams down every year since 1998 when they lost Newey. Feels from the outside like it lacks direction and is a bit hit/miss.


Oh yes, I forgot about the Smedley suggestion. I reckon Clare, if focused, can get the cash in, especially with an all star , er, top tier. Dunno about the aero. I guess they have to do that the hard way. Cant all be easy!!!!

Well, its all a nice fan-fantasy. Fingers crossed. I want Willams back as it were.


McLaren with the Honda link have got to be the logical home for Ross, he's also quite a fan of JBs. Fingers crossed.


I hope you are right, that would be great!


Mclaren or Sauber i should think.


Are Mercedes content to have in their midst a mole whose first loyalty is to a scoop hungry pundit ?


Boo, Mercedes. BOOOOO!!!!!!!


Last week the three Brawn cars from 2009 were moved from the race team where they have been kept.....


Has potential, waiting with bated breath for part two 🙂


I thought Jenson had one of the 09 cars...


It's probably due to power struggle at Merc. I don't think Merc underachievements are his fault at all. It's perhaps more down to budget limitations


Brawn to McLaren - mid 2014

Alsonso to McLaren - 2015

Hamilton to McLaren - 2015/6 - '15 if Merc implode in '14 with no Ross as we know Niki has not got a great track record (jaguar) '16 if he has not got a WDC out of the arrangement.

So by 2016 latest McLaren Honda will have Brawn/Hamilton/Alonso dream team and watch 1988 all over again! Weall know Whitmarsh is good at the business side (brawn hates it) so having the 4 guys mentioned above would make sense as they compliment each other.

I think that there will be Brawn/alonso/button in 2015, Alonso will then have a year working with brawn, then in '16 Lewis will arrive and already has a good relationship with brawn, so both drivers will trust brawn to be fair, Lewis and Fernando are already in a BIG 'love in' so it could really work for McLaren. Would be a nice thing to see.


I agree with 2015 lineup - Ross/ALO/Honda at Mclaren.

Lewis will not be going back to Mclaren any time soon. They simply will not need him or want the deserter with an ALO/BUT lineup.


Lewis will never go back to Mclaren. Remember he jumped ship not only because of their inability to get their strategy right but even a simple pitstop was hard for them during 2010-12. Lewis lost out on many wins and podiums due to no clear sporting leader. They trust their supercomputers and dont think it out.

He wanted greater corporate freedom since he felt suffocated by a team he knew too well and provided no further 'challenge'. Didn't he say he wasted his 'best years' at Mclaren? Ouch! That must of got the attention of Ron Denis.

So what can a team like Mclaren do now that they have no real star driver? Hire ALO why of course!

I originally thought LH was stupid to move away from Mclaren, but after great qualy speed and a handful of wins this year - compared to Mclarens inability to even get onto the podium, i changed my mind and praised him for such a risky but eventually fruitful change.

Now its flipped on its head once again. With the imminent departure of Ross, and the realization that Mercedes is becoming a much smaller Mclaren with Lowe as head tech director, Lewis will be having nightmares thinking about his nemesis ALO is his old team without himself alongside.

A loosing streak is even more powerful that a winning streak. And as Lewis gets older his one little WDC will make him even more aggressive and emotional than he already is, if thats even possible.


Vettel wins 6th World Drivers Championship by 2015....No change there though


Be a real shame if Brawn leaves the sport like this. I think Mercedes have treated him rather shabbily. I'd love to see him go and shake things up at McLaren but at 59 I wouldn't be surprised if he called it a day rather than beginning a brand new challenge. He hasn't anything more to prove in the sport.


Looks like it's going to be Toyota/BMW all over again; board interference, big budgets and mediocrity.


And Jaguar ! You couldn't have a bigger contrast between that team when it was owned by a major motor manufacturer ( Ford ) and now, with a small entrepreneurial outfit like Red Bull as owner.


Ahahahhahahahaha " his nemesis Adrian Newey. "


Newey is his NEMESIS?


There are some people in F1 who define greatness beyond any driver, and Brawn is one of them. (see Newey, Chapman, Byrne and a few others)

Mercedes must be mad, I would love to see a resurgent Williams with the below components...





Brawn has the vision and drive, Symonds is a heavy hitter, Bottas one of the start of the future (with Gro, Hulk and maybe Ric) and Massa still has the speed to put Bottas through the mill in quali and help develop the car




Yes, a rock solid No2 is vital. Besides, if Bottas beats Massa, you know Bottas is as good as Alonso..... 😉


I have to say I'm a bit sad at his departure as he has exceptional qualities that are rarely found. Of course we all get older and Ross has certainly had a good run, however only time will tell to see if the team is able to improve to a higher level without him.


You really are only as good as your last season in Formula 1. Ross Brawn is surely 2nd only to Adrian Newey in being the top of most team's shopping lists, and yet Mercedes view him as surplus to requirements.

Someone with his drive and ambition must surely have one more challenge left, and it does look like McLaren would be the obvious destination, given the Honda connection.

I personally would love to see him move to Williams. His presence alone would be a huge pull for potential sponsors, and bringing success back to Williams would be a fantastic way to complete his F1 career. One could argue that they couldn't afford him, but as James said, its not like he needs the money.


Yeah I don't get this from MB. Surely Brawn will take with him al; the secret goodies they have been working on and are not just seeing the fruits of. SO I am thinking that maybe its Brawn who has decided he wants to be the TP for real or he will leave. I think Brawn is good enough to be able to say to a team even MB that he deserves the top job without interference or power sharing(Fing about with no one in charge and no one responsible).


Hmm Mercedes must be pretty confident if they are willing to let Brawn go.


Confident is the not the word I would have used, but the word I would have used would most likely have been modded...but it rhymes with Cupid 😉



Yup - those Numb Muckwits.

Ha ha.


Considering both Wolff and Lauda insisted it will be Brawn's call when he would want to step down, I guess we can conclude that it was Brawn himself who has decided to call it a day.

Yes, the team will definitely miss Brawn for he's a huge asset to any team both technically and via strategy.

For sure Lewis won't be too pleased with the news but unfortunately when someone wants to go, there's nothing you can do to stop them.

Now considering all the top individuals responsible for Mercedes' lack of success the past few seasons have been axed, lets hope the new blood will see a change of fortunes for the team in the future just like what happened when Red Bull replaced Jaguar's employees.

Overall I wish Brawn success in his future projects and thank him for his contribution to the sport.


"Considering both Wolff and Lauda insisted it will be Brawn’s call when he would want to step down, I guess we can conclude that it was Brawn himself who has decided to call it a day."

It's not really quite that simple. They can say it's up to him, but change everything around him in a way that makes him want to leave. Even if it's not necessarily an intentional push to get him out, if they decide they have a better way to run the team that doesn't work for him, his choices are basically to stay somewhere he's not happy and feels he doesn't have the necessary tools/freedom/control/whatever, or he can leave.

Alexander Supertramp

This looks like a really stupid thing to do by Mercedes.

Hope from the bottom of my heart he goes to Williams, imagine them returning to glory with those Merc engines. Now that's a challenge Ross, if you need one!

Anyhow, as a Mercedes fan, this is not good news at all. You'd think Mercedes would look for some stability with the big changes around the corner, yet they promote Paddy into a position he has never been in to. He better be up to the task. I'd love to read your view on the matter James.


Perhaps this was always inevitable after Paddy Lowe was hired earlier in the season. Remember Brawn was nearly let go by the team before the start of the season.

Never let it be forgotten that Ross has forgotten more about winning world championships than most people know to begin with. The only consolation is that he was more behind the strong 2013 improvement by Mercedes than Wolff, Lauda or Lowe, so hopefully for Lewis, Nico and the team he has also laid firm foundations for 2014 during his extra year's stay.


I think the relationship between the Board and Mr. Brawn soured after Malaysia this year. Stuttgart did not like THAT team order, and someone may have felt it was "in your face" moment. In fact, it may have caused an uproar of certain people there. NR is a German jewel, he may not be of Vettel's brightness, nevertheless, Hamilton will not have No. 1 status in the team. So there.


So perhaps Mercedes wanted to split the team principal role into sporting and technical roles with equal authority and this didn't sound sensible to Brawn. I have to say, it doesn't sound sensible to me either. As he noted before, you ought to have one final person in charge.


Having won world titles with three F1 teams already, just like his nemesis Adrian Newey.


Well now, it appears success at 3 teams is the maximum any engineer can achieve in this sport considering the fact that Newey is also thinking of leaving the sport for another challenge.

So my guess is Brawn is thinking along the same lines >>> Get me any job away from this pressure cooker environment that also doesn't require too much traveling.


Another Toyota/BMW Racing in the making. Its better for Brawn to get on board with Williams and take them where they belong. It will also be a nice great challenge for him.


This is ridiculous. Say what you will about the modern F1 team being too complicated for one team principal, there must be an operational hierarchy and Brawn clearly belongs at the top of it. Red Bull seem like a fairly successful modern F1 team and have done rather well with one team principal and one chief designer.


don't forget the one chief troublemaker, Marko.


Hiring Paddy Lowe to force out Ross Brawn would be like voluntarily hiring Maldonado to force out Hamilton.

If he goes to Honda I presume he'll be overseeing engine development rather than working directly with McLaren on the racing side.

Whatever he does, it's Mercedes' loss.


He's not an engine man


Brawn does not need to be "an engine man".

Brawn needs to be an engineer that is good

at over-seeing the 'engine men'.

Brawn was not a driver, but he was pretty

darn good at running Schumi ....


And what of Bell, Costa and Willis James? All top men in their field, but having been recruited by Ross Brawn, would they want to answer to Paddy Lowe and Toto Wolff with Niki Lauda in the background?


Cagey old Ross Brawn still has a trick or two left in him.

The Johnny-come-lately, or should it be Toto-come-lately, may have the nouveau political ruthlessness, but lacks in the true faculty of a master.

True, Brawn was replaced, the moment the Paddy Lowe deal was in the offing; and he knows stuff like this from way, way back; so when Toto arrived, there was no doubt that Ross was uncomfortable with the situation, and it has of course culminated in this.

I have no doubt that Ross is now the one managing the information on the transition, and has long since made up his mind that the situation at Mercedes is untenable.

Honda Motorsport Director, is that a good title.

If you are McLaren, it's not the best title Ross could wear, but do they have the ability to cut Whitmarsh loose, not likely, but you never know.

The timing is right for a move to the top front man in the Honda re-entry into the sport, as engine supplier.

Mercedes, I hope they continue to be unable to hit the mark.

Recent history has shown that the hyper-uptight corporate type just CANNOT successfully manage an F1 team: Toyota, Honda (works), BMW, all fail, and now Mercedes with their bloated technical and management structures, their advanced propaganda propulsion laboratories, etc.

Compare that to the incredibly flat structure at Brawn - cha-ching$$$ Winning the driver and constructor championship on a wily old-fashioned cheat (the double diffuser).

I hope he has at least another trip to the top; like him (and his tactics) or not, at least he is human, and not some 'limited liability' composite awareness.

Good luck Ross; I'm looking forward to seeing what success you can get up to this time.


>>Mercedes with their bloated technical and management structures<>their advanced propaganda propulsion laboratories<<

So right! LMAO


Ferrari should sack Pat Fry and rehire Ross Brawn! Since Fry joined the team, he turned Ferrari into a midfield team... .

Do you see this happening James? I thought he left Ferrari to have a sabbatical, but not that he was unhappy with Ferrari?


Out of curiosity, do Ross Brawn and Adrian Newey get on?


Surely the ideal challenge for him now will be to return Williams to championship-winning ways? Though personally I would like him to take Marussia from the back of the grid to the front to increase the number of competitive teams.


Here's a scenario:

Marussia with shiny new Ferrari engines, a major financial backer and Brawn.



Really wonder if other 'underperforming' team's principles will be feeling a little nervous at the prospect of Ross Brawn looking for a team to manage in 2014/15?

Could see the Ferrari management considering him as a replacement for Domenicalli … or Ron Dennis eyeing him up to run McLaren with his links to Honda!


Come on Sir Frank, open the cheque book, re-unite Ross with Pat and maybe, just maybe with your shiny new Mercedes engine package (and maybe with a new Brazilian driver hungry to prove a point) you can start the climb back to the podium (here`s hoping its not wishful thinking).


Ross, McLaren needs you, go.


Sabbatical for Brawn then join McLaren Honda for 2015?...


If he's going to join McLaren then I think during their transition in 2014 is the time to do it.

That way he can help with the process and get things set up the way he likes, otherwise he'll be a bit of a Johnny come lately stepping into shoes that might not fit quite right.


Astonishing that Mercedes seem to be going for unproven leaders in Lowe/Wolff and Lauda over proven talent of Brawn. After 2009 the team were basically starting from scratch and in that context he has steadily improved the team each year. I can't say I would be too happy if I were Hamilton!

Mclaren absolutely should go for Brawn. They need his tactical expertise as this is an area they have been appalling at for the best part of 20 years now. Let alone the leadership and vision he seems to bring to a team.


My contacts tell me he has been seen at the Williams factory recently


If he was negotiating with another team, I can't really see them meeting in such an obvious place.


Unless they were *supposed* to be seen


for a seat fitting 🙂 lol


That would be one mighty seat!

Now I've got this image of Ross thundering down a straight in an F1 car and I really want to see it happen 🙂


That was an epic race.



Best race I've watched in ages 🙂

They really should do something like that as a support race for one or two GPs, maybe one of the ones which don't really have any support races 😉


...going head to head on track with Newey 😉


sorry , was escorts (mk1) remember now :

see here .. amazing , all the names etc !



there is a youtube video that shows team managers racing minis around brandshatch i think from the 60's , 70's

i so wish they would do that again , get all team mangers in a charity race with same cars etc.. big hit !


The private airfield near Woking/Guildford is desperate for a visit from Ross's jet.

Jenson & Ross won the last pre-Vettel WDC. Put them back together, give them a real budget this time, and then add Alonso and Honda both back in in 2015.

This could be F1's version of the Rolling Stones...


ALO would be MAD to go to McLaren against another british driver.


ALO would be mad not to look into a move to Mclaren in 2015! ESPECIALLY if Ross is on the way there..


I think Ross might take up a role with the FIA in some capacity, am sure Jean Todt would like that.


Any credence to the rumors of a return to Mclaren Honda for Ross ?


If he is going, I cant see him going to another team for the 2014 season, Merc will have negotiated some sort of deal to keep him fishing next year.

If it's more acrimonious than that and they have a contract in place, they'll have to let him go somewhere else by next summer.


Unless he goes to a team with Mercedes power like Williams, though Herr. Wolffs shareholding could be a draw back.

I've said it before Mercedes 'can't win won't win' approach and mentality may well prevail over the logical structures required to run an F1 team, such as leaving Brawn in charge and being Lowe up to speed on the back of solid results. Niki Lauda has been a successful airline entrepreneur, but his previous spells in racing management have hardly been impressive.

On the otherhand who is Totto Wolff and why is he in the middle of the racing departments activities?

Maybe in 2015 it will be Alonso and Hamilton at McLaren!!


Could Christian Horner make a play to bring Brawn into the fold and further weaken the opposition?

I'm sure you could design the roles and responsibilities in such a way that Newey and Brawn could dovetail.


I don't recall seeing Paddy Lowe on the McClaren pit wall.

Who will run Mercedes race strategy?


I just did a quick google and there are several images of PL on the McLaren pit wall.


Is Newey Brawn's nemesis? Is this a fact?


Rival teams should to be drinking Mumm today, James!?...

One of the famous rival generals is out in 2014 battle.

"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake" - N.B.



. . . A fool and his money are soon parted . . .


Oh, I just hope he doesn't leave the F1 scene. This man has so much charisma!

He needs to be on the pitwall and in the picture. What about Williams? Pat Symonds and Brawn have worked together before …



It is hear say at this point, lets all wait for the statement from Mercedes, ST


Look, Ross Brawn has failed at Mercedes.

For all the talk about the brilliance of Ross Brawn, Schumacher never got the best car on the grid until 2001. The only seasons where Brawn has given his drivers a dominant car has been 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2009. 2009 was due to a very liberal interpretation of the regulations more than anything.


What is the probability of Brawn joining Ferrari to replace Domenicali? This is what I would love to see.


Yeah. Domenicali should be out.

But Brawn will not step into the same river again. McLaren seems as an option.


why not Rory Byrne is there again so why not reunite Ross with him after all they are wining combo.


I don't think he should go to Mclaren else he'll face similar structure as Merc with Ron Dennis, Whitmarsh and Sam Michael there. Williams is out of question with their limited bankbalance and a parade of pay drivers.

Ferrari would have been the obvious choice but i think Ross is too old to move to Italy again. Besides, i doubt if LdM's ego would permit him hiring Brawn again. The most obvious choice seems to be joining his old friend Jean Todt at some high FIA roll. Or maybe join his buddy Schumacher at the Texas ranch and take care of the horse stable ( "the new Scuderia" )!


I remember Ross Brawn saying a couple of earlier "not necessarily leave the sport" if he does not remain at Mercedes.

He is interested and maybe he has some thoughts lined up but not firmed up - who knows. May be FIA, may be some other team. Willing to wait then speculate.

Surely his talent is appreciated greatly by many in the sport. He has to fit the box whereever he goes.




I can't say this is a huge surprise, but wherever you end up Ross best of luck! 🙂

Mike from Colombia

Very poor management from the Mercedes. Disastrous and I cannot understand why they could not keep the faith in Brawn.

Surely hamilton, Rosberg and Schumacher would have given Lauda their feedback that Brawn is the man. Seems like a power struggle will continue at thus team and risk implosion.

Mercedes have backed the wrong management.

My list of the top 3 people who are surplus to requirements:

1. The Maitre D type guy who hands watches to the drivers in the cooldown room before the podium

2= Toto and Susie Wolff

Wolff is out of his depth. He did nothing at Williams of note, has not contributed to F1 and is hoping to hang onto the coat tails of Paddy Lowe - who has yet to prove himself as a team principal.

Bye bye to Mercedes winning the 2014 championship.

Hamilton to Red Bull or McLaren. Rosberg to Ferrari with Vettel.


lol - The Maitre D type - brilliant.

I don't know much about Wolff and share your concerns. But, here's the thing, Frank was prepared to hand over the running of his beloved team to him and Merc handed him the top job as well. So I guess there must be something about him they both liked.

Hey ho time, as they say, will tell 🙂


Quite clearly there are two British teams that could really use his talent but at Williams it could take as long as three years to turn the team round, there are budget issues and he would be essentially a customer of Mercedes for all that time.

If he joined McLaren, however, he could take over the complete development program for 2015 and the Honda project.

I have no doubt that Martin Whitmarsh would agree step aside at the end of next season so Ross would be undisputed Team Principal for 2015

Looking from the outside, this looks the better bet as there are no budget issues but does he get on with the McLaren Chairman and does he really want the job ?


What makes you so sure MW would step aside?


Too many chiefs at Merc, not enough indians, so I cant imagine he'd *want to stay much longer!

And he's way too young to retire, particularly if he's doing something he enjoys and has passion for!

Maybe a year of gardening leave will revitalize him for another, deserving team that would respect him more.


Wolf will not deliver. I respect Merc as a sports make for century, but looking at them in f1 suggests they are not a team to win the title.

Wish Brawn cool new place, either Lotus or McLaren.

Valentino from montreal

Schumacher jumpeed ship just in time ..

Schumacher quit , then Norbert Haug was ired and now Brawn is leaving ..

Thank You Brackley !! Im sure the one corner F1 world champion and the Wolf+Kruger combination will bring lots of success !!


Every report on this says that there is no official statement. So, where does this news come from James? Is it all speculation and rumours?


Now Mr Lauda had said that no decision has been made do you think this 'news' story might go away?

I come here for genuine news, not guess work. Leave that for the tabloids in future please.


No I think Ross is on his way, Lauda wants to look like the good cop


Brawn is an asset for any F1 team. But he'll only go to a place where the team has WCC potential and at least one of the drivers has WDC potential. RB is out of the question, and the rest of the teams are fighting only for 2nd place, so he's out of here.


Well, the rumour mill is spinning like crazy so here's my shot:

Brawn+Schumacher partnership with Sauber, with Hülkenberg and Schumacher in race roles and Massa as test driver. They lure back BMW who make an absolute screamer of an engine for 2016...



What does Toto/Lauda have that Ross doesnt?

Hope he will start his own team, and take Lewis with him.


TW and Lauda speak German, that's what it comes down to. The corporate fat-cats watch Niki Lauda on RTL (German TV channel) where he is a weekly pundit. It is as much marketing for Mercedes to say Lauda is their man. Also means they get better race reviews!


How about becoming the technical director at LOTUS!!!!!!


I'm thinking...

Domenicali out at ferrari replaced by Boullier; Ferrari love to poach from enstone (history repeats itself - 1994/5 Enstone 3 to Ferrari 20 years later) and Boullier has done an incredable job for enstone giving Ferrari a run for their money this year... and Brawn back home at enstone with their relaxed hip atmosphere; sounds like relaxed vibe is what he craves. plus brawn could bring in significant sponsorship something that enstone desperately needs

I'm thinking this will only happen if Lotus beat ferrari in the championship. once D is replaced the enstone seat is open for Brawn to fill if he's willing...


I wish him all the best, but honestly I just think he'll retire, and that will be that.


Me too


What if he buys Wolfs stake in Williams. And runs a Williams Brawn Mercedes team!


Why is there a voice in my head telling me Martin Whitmarsh will lose his position in the McLaren team rather soon...


Brawn+Alonso+Prodromou+MclarenaHonda would be fascinating to see such a combination! But is it possible, James would like to hear what do you think about that!!!


Brawn + Schumacher + Symonds + Williams Mercedes is a great combo as well. With Bottas and Massa/Hulkenberg as their drivers.

I'd love to see Williams do a Lotus.

James, any news of Schumacher feeling bored again? He and Brawn should buy into the struggling Williams team.


Ross Brawn is one of F1's best assets. An F1 grid void of his influence would be a lot less interesting. As competitive as Brawn is I can't imagine leaving Mercedes having built it to the brink of being a legit Championship contender will sit well.

But what to do with limited options for a guy who sees the value of being a team's reference point? The big teams based in the UK (McLaren, Red Bull) seem set with their leading personnel and a move out of country to Ferrari looks unattractive when family priorities are considered.

All that seems left is to pick through the remains of smaller teams that will find it hard to advance on a grid the sport has structurally rigged to keep legacy teams and truly big spenders at the front.

Perhaps Brawn might have the respect and influence to build something of a revolution within the small teams, something that could free them from the sport's structure to let them run closer to the top teams on smaller budgets.

Open Source chassis development.

Collectively the small teams have the access to resources and people that any single large team would have. In actual fact they might have more. Their collective wind tunnel and simulator time alone, if directed collaboratively, would send a shiver through the bones of any large team.

Directing those shared resources towards an open source digital reference chassis could quickly transform the dynamics of the grid.

Instead of all those costly technical partnerships that form part of the business models of the large teams (and act as a small team subsidy of big teams), small teams could continue to invest in themselves while leveraging the shared data and development steam to build more competitive cars.

Money is only a limitation for small teams if they operate like larger ones. It is the exclusivity of information that all the money buys. By creating a relationship where perhaps five teams (Caterham, Marussia, Force India, Williams, Sauber) freely shared information money need not be the limitation for them that it is today.

A peasant revolution of sorts in F1 would be great fun to watch. It would be even more fun with a leader like Ross Brawn engineering it.


What a great idea. It won't happen, but still a great idea.


Brawn can buy an existing team. He has the money.


Buy team, then buy Newey:)


If Mclaren want to return to the front of the grid they should be begging Ross to join.


I hate saying this, but Ross will be happy about the move.... The clowns that Merc have installed (Toto/Niki) know ZERO about what it takes to win. I don't consider either of their involvements with Williams and Jaguar as something I'd be proud of. Also, Ross to some degree is a victim of his own success at Ferrari where that success is more to do with Michael then himself... the WC was down to a trick device/interp of the rules... as Brawn GP. I think he's a great leader but don't see this move as a shock.


No the success at Ferrari had more to with Rory Byrne than anything else.


Is it true they have him as a consultant at the moment?


He's even doing hours at the factory!


Ross has nothing to prove to anyone His record says everything. A multiple management structure at Mercedes may work for their road car division but F1.... I don't think so. If I was Frank Williams I would snap him up.




Ross has been thoroughly beaten by Newey, and it's only fair that someone else be given to have a go at it.


Wasn't there talk a while ago about Brawn buying in to Williams?


I'm a big fan of Brawn and I don't think anyone can dispute his abilities however, this recurring fall out with senior management possibly points to a problem. Maybe he is one of those technical geniuses unable to manage a team with total authority ie team owner as opposed to working with fellow senior managers as peers. Is he able to create a vision and convince senior management to back him? As an outsider, he seemed the obvious choice at Ferrari after Todt but we know what happened there. Now at Merc is seems illogical to replace him but once again seems to be the case. Can Brawn emulate Todt or Horner? Why has he failed to secure backing twice now? Wish I had an insider's view.

Hope to seem him leading a team in 2014.


It's his time to leave. He did a good job on a tight budget to keep the team alive but he messed up by ignoring the power of the exhaust blown diffuser for so long. A small team like Sauber managed to produce a decent exhaust blown diffuser and Mercedes wasted years by being late to the party.

Mike from Colombia

Without Brawn, Mercedes will have a lighweight management team from hereon.

Toto is a sheep in Wolff's clothing.


Some time back, Martin Witmarsh was on about how Mclaren have some high profile technical personnel signed up. Prodromou is already on his way there, could we see a Mclaren with Alonso / Button / Brawn / Honda combination in 2015 ? Surely, give some of the other teams a nightmare 🙂


Williams said the same when they announced Symonds. I'm curious to learn what McLaren and Williams have up their sleeve.


If it turns out to be true, I will feel sorry! It's sad if he bows out in this way. But halas, I am hardly surprised. In a world obsessed with marketing & communication, these past 18 months look like the perfect example of "how not to do it".

As far as I can remember, it was Ross himself who came out with some badly timed outages to the media relating to his future. Then it took a turn for the worse when Wolf and Lauda got onboard. Quickly followed by Lowe. The rest is recent history.

Contrary to what Mercedes are saying Ross Brawn is NOT just a member of staff who can "easily" be replaced and to say anything like that in public is just plain stupid.

I may be proved wrong in the near future, but I don't think what Mercedes need right now is Paddy Lowe.


Can't believe I missed this thread, only heard about this during ABU DABI interviews.

Have Mercedes no knowledge of history? is the only thought that comes to my mind.

Given the right ingredients Brawns teams have gone on to dominate F1, Benneton, Ferrari - o.k his character was dubious & with the tyre test he showed he'd not lost his dubiousness but he now has Mercedes exactly were he wants them & is currently 2nd in the WCC the team looking strong and now this......!!

I said earlier this year Toto, Lowe & Lauda were in a difficult position with what the team is starting to do, but this being the outcome....wow.

Merc need to back down, apologise and bring the man back.

I actually feel this is abit unfair on Paddy - if the team go's backwards his credabilty will be crushed....he HAS to deliver bigtime, very big time.


This is great! Where do you find this stuff?

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