19 November 2013
Brawn: Prodromou exit will have impact
Losing a key member of the technical team will always weaken an F1 operation, insists Mercedes principal Ross Brawn.
Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn says Red Bull has to expect the impending loss of aero expert Peter Prodromou to have an effect on its performance.
Brawn's lengthy involvement in F1 means that he has seen key members of technical teams come and go and, while his own future in Brackley is not assured following the arrival of Paddy Lowe from McLaren, he is well-placed to comment on Prodromou's expected departure for the Woking-based operation.
"I have never worked with Peter, but he has the reputation of being a strong engineer and obviously has been involved with some very successful projects, so there will be a change,” Brawn told Britain's Guardian newspaper, “I don't think any team can lose someone of that experience and calibre without it having some impact.
"It happens in F1 all the time. Red Bull are where they are because they took Adrian [Newey] out of McLaren. James Allison has gone from Lotus, having designed a very good car there, to Ferrari, and I am sure, next year, their car will be a lot better. It's the nature of F1. It's fairly incestuous. That's the nature of the business."
While McLaren has already heralded Prodromou's arrival, without being able to give a start date for his appointment, Red Bull has steadfastly refused to let its man go quietly.
"The duration of his contract runs for quite a while yet," team principal Christian Horner told the same title shortly after the Japanese Grand Prix, "We are certainly in no rush to release him early and he will be with the team to the end of his existing agreement."
McLaren, meanwhile, has said that it will respect RBR's stance, but clearly hopes that Prodromou's return to Woking – having previously worked there between 2002-06 – will help banish memories of a tough 2013 campaign.
"Peter's a great guy and he's an important part of their operation," MD Jonathan Neale acknowledged, "I can't see any incentive for Red Bull to release him early. We'd be very happy to have him here starting tomorrow morning, but we fully respect Red Bull's position - as we do when we're recruiting anybody from another organisation. But who knows what will happen over the course of a year…."
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