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Brawn set to leave Mercedes at the end of the season
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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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1

This is great! Where do you find this stuff?

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2

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.

3

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.

4

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 🙂

5

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

6
Mike from Colombia

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

Toto is a sheep in Wolff’s clothing.

7

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.

8

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.

9

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

10

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

11

BMW….

12

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.

13

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.

14

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

15

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

16

He’s even doing hours at the factory!

17

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

18

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

19

Buy team, then buy Newey:)

20

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.

21

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

22

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!!!

23

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.

24

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

25

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

26

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

27

Me too

28

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…

29

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

30

What does Toto/Lauda have that Ross doesnt?

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

31

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!

32

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…

🙂

33

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.

34

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?

35

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.

36

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

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