Brawn says no imminent move from Mercedes
SUZUKA, Japan (AP) — Ross Brawn says he is not planning an immediate departure from the Mercedes Formula One team despite speculation he will be on the move at the end of the season.
Reports after last weekend’s Korean Grand Prix suggested Brawn had informed the team’s non-executive chairman Niki Lauda that he would be leaving at the end of the season.
With Japanese automaker Honda set to return to F1 in 2015 as an engine supplier to McLaren, there have been speculation the 58-year-old Brawn may join the British team. Brawn served as team principal of Honda in 2008.
Brawn was quoted by Autosport on Friday saying he was in discussions with Toto Wolff, head of Mercedes motorsport, and others in team management about the structure next year.
“Genuinely, I have not had any discussion with Honda or McLaren about the future,” Brawn said.
“Niki and Toto are getting more familiar with the team and we need to understand how we’re going to run the team in the future. So those discussions are on-going but we have not reached any conclusions yet.”
Brawn was the owner of the Brawn GP team, which he acquired from Honda in early 2009, and won both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships that year. Mercedes bought into the team in November 2009, making Brawn team principal and co-owner with Nick Fry.
As technical director, Brawn was behind Michael Schumacher’s seven title wins with Benetton in the 1990s and Ferrari in the 2000s.
Brawn’s future has been the subject of speculation all year since the Mercedes team recruited Paddy Lowe from McLaren as executive director. The team also brought in Wolff from Williams, Bob Bell from Renault and appointed Lauda in a supervisory role.
Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have both expressed hope that Brawn will stay with the team. Mercedes has won three races this season with Rosberg taking the checkered flag in Monaco and Silverstone and Hamilton winning in Hungary.