In this week’s edition of Reporters we piece together the leaks and revelations made by Ross Brawn in the weeks leading up to the release of his book Total Competition: Lessons in Strategy from Formula One
We start with why Brawn doesn’t want to join rule making body. Why is politics a turn off for Brawn?
Why I didn’t join rule making body – Brawn
Ross Brawn says he has been asked to become part of rulemaking but the politics that would be involved are a turn-off. Brawn quit as Mercedes team principal at the end of the 2013 season, saying a lack of trust in the hierarchy led to his departure.
In a series of reports this week building up to the release of a joint book with former Williams CEO Adam Parr, Brawn has given a number of ‘leaks’ of his book. Brawn wrote “I’ve been invited to become involved in Formula 1 again and help perhaps shape the regulations or help shape the future of Formula 1,” he wrote. And that invitation is to get involved in the politics of Formula 1, because that is what it’s all about.
“If someone said, ‘do you want to come back and do a bit of engineering?’ I could be tempted. But to have to deal with all the politics of Formula 1, that was probably the side I enjoyed least of what I did. And therefore the side that is least attractive to me.”
The sport is due to introduce new technical rules next season. But Brawn says that F1 bosses have been too focused on trying to find an instant solution to its problems rather than working out a long-term plan.
He says F1 thinks of three year solutions without long term plans. Brawn says the V6 hybrids was an ineffective regulations, including price and performance convergence were long debated after the V6 hybrids were introduced, as an example of an ineffective introduction of rules.
Well rumours still continue, respected journalist James Allen reported he could become sporting director for FOM
Brawn set for role with FOM – Allen
Journalist and former ITV/BBC commentator James Allen believes that former Benetton, Ferrari, Honda, Brawn GP and Mercedes boss Ross Brawn could be set for a return as the sports sporting director.
Allen says that, Brawn’s responsibilities would include liaising between the F1 teams and the ruling body, the FIA. The sports new owners Liberty Media are working on plans to help improve F1, and Brawn could be a part of it. In extracts his book due out on Thursday Brawn indicated he was prepared to a role like this.
Brawn wrote “For sure, trying to help F1 become a better F1 would be appealing. It would be the one thing that could be interesting.
“If you ask me what F1 needs, it needs a plan; a three-year and a five-year plan. My view is we haven’t got the ideal structure for creating that plan and implementing it over time”
Well Brawn soon rejected that report but admitted he was doing some work
I have no role but consultant – Brawn
Ross Brawn says he has not accepted any role with Liberty Media but has admitted he has been doing consultancy work for the sports new owners.
The former team boss says that the US Media giant was not ready to make any definitive job offers. He told the BBC “Liberty have not got far enough down the road to make any commitments yet. I’m doing a little consulting to help them better understand F1 but that’s all”
Last week, following extracts of his book which is released tomorrow Brawn indicated he was ready for a return to the sport in a engineering role but not in a job where you need to deal with the politics. Bernie Ecclestone is expected to remain in post until 2019/20, but there has been no official confirmation from Liberty.
Insiders report that he is expected to be replaced by at least two executives – one to look after the commercial side of the sport; the other the sporting side. But current has seats on the strategy group, the commission and the FIA World Council.
This protocol is enshrined in the teams’ contracts until 2020, after which a new deal will have to be reached. Negotiations on that have not started and will be among Liberty’s first concerns.
He was key in Mercedes rebirth as a power house in F1 so after what his predecessors described as ‘the foundations’ to their current success. So why couldn’t he trust Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff?
Why I left Mercedes – Brawn
Ross Brawn says in his new book Total Competition that he left Mercedes at the end of 2013 because he could not trust Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff, who were added to the management team by Mercedes.
In his new book Total Competition written with Adam Parr, Brawn says “What happened at Mercedes is that people were imposed on me who I couldn’t trust. I never really knew what they were trying to do. I mean Niki would tell me one thing, then I would hear he was saying something else.”
Brawn added that Wolff was making critical comments about him in a conversation recorded by former F1 team boss Colin Kolles. “So I was beginning to deal with people who I didn’t feel I could ultimately trust; people within the team, who had let me down already in terms of their approach.”
He says when he learned that Paddy Lowe was joining the team and challenged Wolff and Lauda they blamed each other. Brawn says he couldn’t trust them and he said he had not previously been in an “us or them” situation at a senior level in a team: “I have never faced that and maybe I just didn’t feel passionately enough about the whole project to want to go through that grief.”
Wolff and Lauda became shareholders, which Brawn say he never understood. “Their view was that they wanted management who were committed and I think they also took a view that by being shareholders they would gain greater respect from the team.”
Brawn has remained close to Michael Schumacher for over twenty years. But what does he know about his recovery almost three years after his skiing accident?
Brawn speaks about Schumacher condition
Ross Brawn has given insight into the condition of Michael Schumacher in a BBC Interview on the day of the launch of his new book.
September that Schumacher cannot walk but the extent of his condition remains unknown to the public. But Brawn is one of the few people who have been allowed information on his condition.
Brawn told a BBC Sport Special “The family have chosen to conduct Michael’s convalescence in private and I must respect that. There are encouraging signs and we are all praying every day that we see more of them. So it is difficult for me to say very much and respect the family’s privacy.
“All I would say is there is a lot of speculation about Michael’s condition. Most of it’s wrong and we just pray and hope every day that we continue to see some progress and that one day we can see Michael out and about and recovered from his terrible injuries.”
That’s all from this special edition of Reporters