Ross Brawn, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013

Mercedes confirm Ross Brawn will leave team

2013 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Ross Brawn, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Mercedes have officially announced team principal Ross Brawn will leave the team at the end of the year.

The leadership of the team from next year will be shared between executive director (business) Toto Wolff and executive director (technical) Paddy Lowe.

“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-Benz has invested significantly in both the personnel and infrastructure at Brackley and Brixworth. Thanks to the one-team approach we have implemented between the two facilities, the team is uniquely positioned to succeed in 2014 and I am proud to have helped lay the foundations for that success.

“However, 2014 will mark the beginning of a new era in the sport. We therefore felt this was the right time to simultaneously begin a new era of team management to ensure that the organisation is in the strongest possible competitive position for the years to come.”

Non-executive chairman Niki Lauda offered his thanks to Brawn: “When you consider the step that has been made from finishing fifth in 2012 to the second place that we have secured this season, he has been the architect of this success. He put the plans in place to recruit key people since early 2011, and the performance this season shows that the team is on the right track.”

“Succession plan”

Brawn’s position as team principal has been a source of speculation throughout the season following the recruitment of Wolff from Williams and Lowe from McLaren.

“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 chosen to move on,” said Lauda. “Ross has decided that this is the right time to hand over the reins to Toto and Paddy and we respect his decision.”

Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche said Brawn’s departure was part of an organised succession plan. “Last winter we restructured the management of our Formula One activities, with the support of Niki Lauda,” he explained.

“The first step was to convince Toto Wolff to join us to run our Mercedes-Benz motorsport activities and our Formula One company. The second step was the recruitment of Paddy Lowe during 2013.

“This gave us a clear succession plan for the time when Ross decided to step down from his current role, and that time has now come. I have every confidence that Toto and Paddy will build on Ross’ good work and that they possess exactly the balance of skills required to lead our team to world championship success.

“I would like to personally thank Ross for the calm authority with which he has led our works team since 2010, for his crucial contribution to our team’s development and also for the undoubted share he will have in our future success. It has been a pleasure working with him over the past four years and I extend all my very best wishes to him for the future.”

Nico Rosberg responded to the news on Twitter, saying it “was a great experience to work with Ross”.

“He is a great leader and we shared special times like my first win and Monaco win.”

Brawn joined the team in 2007, when it was owned by Honda. The Japanese manufacturer withdrew from Formula One at the end of 2008 and Brawn, together with Nick Fry, led a management buyout which saw the team continue to compete as Brawn GP.

The team won the constructors’ championship using Mercedes engines in 2009 and Jenson Button claimed the drivers’ title with the team. At the end of the year Mercedes took control of the team and rebranded it.

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Image ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei