28 November 2013
Lauda: Brawn was architect of Mercedes success
Ross Brawn's contribution to Mercedes' F1 programme has been lauded by both Niki Lauda and Dieter Zetsche after the Briton confirmed his imminent exit from the team.
Niki Lauda has praised Ross Brawn's contribution to making Mercedes AMG Petronas a force to reckon with in F1, but said that attempts to convince the Briton to stay on board were fruitless.
After weeks of speculation, Brawn and Mercedes finally confirmed that they were to go their separate ways at the end of the year, even though Lauda had made efforts to retain the services of the team principal for 2014 and beyond. However, Mercedes' decision to move towards a committee style of management, with Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe taking on the responsibility for overseeing business and technical functions respectively, left no room for Brawn to retain the sole control he desired.
The team announced the Briton's departure by claiming that 'following an extended period of open discussion between the team's key stakeholders, Ross has chosen to hand over the team leadership', and confirmed that he would formally leave the team on 31 December 2013.
Having been employed in increasingly prominent roles at the likes of Williams, Haas and Benetton – tasting championship success with Michael Schumacher in 1994-95 – he followed the German to Ferrari and racked up five further drivers' titles and six constructors' crowns between 1999-2004.
When Schumacher retired, the Scuderia's technical 'dream team' was broken up, and Brawn took a brief sabbatical before returning as team principal at Honda. When the Japanese marque withdrew, Brawn took over the reins and, under his own name, claimed the 2009 world titles with Jenson Button, leading the engine partner Mercedes buying into the team and transforming it into a works effort. After a tough couple of years, the Brackley outfit jumped from fifth overall in 2012 to second this season, establishing itself as the main threat to Red Bull over the course of the year.
"First of all, and most importantly, we must say thank you to Ross,” non-executive chairman Lauda commented, “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.”
Through the height of the speculation about Brawn's future, Lauda made no secret of the fact that he wanted to keep the Briton on board, but now admits that talks were always likely to fail.
"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,” he conceded, “Ross has decided that this is the right time to hand over the reins to Toto and Paddy and we respect his decision. Toto and Paddy are the right people to lead our team in 2014 and beyond."
The recruitment of Wolff, from Williams, and Lowe, from McLaren, were central to the restructuring Mercedes' management felt was essential to challenge at the front of the field in future, particularly as the company planned for Brawn's eventual exit.
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
the conversation - Add your comment
Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.