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

91 comments on “Mercedes confirm Ross Brawn will leave team”

  1. Brawn and Byrne at Ferrari again would be nice but borderline impossible

    1. Why? What would bringing these guys “back together” help? I guess you are one of the numerous people who love the umpteenth remake of batman, superman, etc instead of seeing something new?

      I would be far more excited to see some new people come up with the Newey beating combinations to look forward to an exciting future @anele-mbethe

      1. @bascb So you are basically saying that to beat Newey you need somebody newi ‘sh’ ;-)

        1. @hamilfan lol someones on top of their game

        2. At first I thought “am I?” then I got the joke. Nice one @hamilfan

      2. @bascb I guess it’s a bit of nostalgia and no I don’t like any dodgy superman/batman remakes :-)

        in saying that I’m fully behind Allison and domenicali.

        I full agree with you on the new engineers coming in and making there mark, I wonder who the next dominant designer will be.

        1. Great @anele-mbethe! I have been thinking about Allison but also see a guy like James Key as one of the guys we should be hearing more from in the coming years. I defenitely hope there are others we have (so far) not heard of though :-)

          1. @bascb interesting times ahead indeed , if James key was the main force behind the C31 last year he just may be the man. and I hope they actually beat Newey rather than take over once he calls it a day which is yhe likely scenario with Key since he joined Toro rosso

  2. will be interesting to see if Mercedes will be better without brawn. since 2009, the brawn team and then merc have gone backwards as the season went along, while redbull make great progress as the year goes on, will this finally change with Brawn gone? in 09, brawn got heralded for a car that was built by Honda. in Ferrari days, his success was easy because of Ferrari money, and unlimited testing. I don’t dislike brawn, but am putting up an argument that maybe he is not as great as his success shows. lets see if he can transform Williams next year, he didn’t transform Mercedes, only when Toto Wolff came in did they finish 2nd in the championship.

    1. What? Brawn joined Honda in 2007 and he pretty much single handedly saved that team if you remember 2009.

      In Ferrari days his success was easy because of Ferrari money and unlimited testing? If that’s the case why wasn’t Ferrari winning before Brawn, Byrne, Schumacher and a few others came along?

      So Toto Wolff transformed Mercedes? Okay.

  3. okay how about considering this plot twist . I know this is highly unlikely , but
    Christian horner to fill in for Bernie
    Brawn to fill in for Christian Horner
    :O sounds like a checkmate move in chess ;-) .
    But yeah I think christian will stay put at RBR and Ross will go to Honda.

  4. @bascb interesting times ahead indeed , if James key was the main force behind the C31 last year he just may be the man. and I hope they actually beat Newey rather than take over once he calls it a day which is yhe likely scenario with Key since he joined Toro rosso

  5. I think Brawn fill find some sponsors buy the now defunct HRT team, come up with some new idea and make it a midfield team. He could use Honda engines.
    Or be offered a role at Mclaren, they basically threw away the 2012 championship and Whitmarsh needs to go

  6. I, like many, wouldn’t be suprised if he joined Ferrari. But then again .. both his and his wife health have apparantly not been great, so I wonder if he would really move to Italy for another period of F1 in his life. It would make more sense so join a british team. Or indeed, take a couple of months, or a year off, and then see whats what. Another outside option would be to replace Bernie. But that probably won’t happen as long as Bernie stays out of prison.

  7. The FIA should get Brawn in to work on the regs. They usually come up with a set of regs in order to stop certain things from being done and within seconds, a solution to bypass what the regs are designed to do is found. Usually by Brawn.

  8. Brawn>Ron Dennis>Whitmarsh.
    McLaren needs one from the first two.

  9. Bad news for fish.
    But I expect he’ll be back in racing before too long, and we’ll know more by the end of next season.
    Nobody’s mentioned Force India yet.

  10. If I were Ross, and if the health issues are real and not rumour, I would sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labour. He’s given his life to F1, produced results most people can only dream of, and will go down as one of the legendary figures in F1. Given that it’s probably still his passion, a consultant role with any team would probably be the best way to keep some involvement in F1, without the commitments required of a team principal.

    I find it hard to believe he’ll join another team immediately, I think he’ll probably take some time off and decide on a return (if at all) during that time.

  11. I sincerely hope Brawn lands at Ferrari. F1 needs someone to dethrone Red Bull and Seb before the boredom spreads. I can never forgive SV for his “Mark didn’t deserve to win…” remark. The bad taste lingers.

  12. I’#d like to see Byrne out of retirement with Brawn at Williams to bring them back to the front runners!

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