x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Ross Brawn’s situation is now a case of wait and see

With rumours heightening that Ross Brawn, the Mercedes-GP team principal, is set to leave at the end of the season, Nico Rosberg and Niki Lauda both have expressed their desire for the 58-year-old Englishman to remain at the German manufacturer next year.

Ross Brawn, the Mercedes team principal, has had overtures made by Niki Lauda, right, and driver Nico Rosberg to stay with the team through next season. Paul Gilham / Getty Images
Ross Brawn, the Mercedes team principal, has had overtures made by Niki Lauda, right, and driver Nico Rosberg to stay with the team through next season. Paul Gilham / Getty Images

DUBAI // With rumours heightening that Ross Brawn, the Mercedes-GP team principal, is set to leave at the end of the season, Nico Rosberg expressed his desire for the 58-year-old Englishman to remain at the German manufacturers next year.

Mercedes have undergone a management overhaul during the past 12 months with Brawn being joined by non-executive chairman Niki Lauda and executive directors Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe in the boardroom at the team’s Brackley base in England.

Rosberg, speaking in Dubai on Wednesday, hailed the impact his team principal has had in the development of Mercedes since the German company purchased and rebranded Brawn-GP, the 2009 constructors’ champions.

“Ross has been very important to the team in the past, for sure,” Rosberg said of the former Benetton and Ferrari technical director, who has been involved at some level in winning no fewer than 16 drivers’ and constructors’ titles. “He has done a great job here and is in discussions with the team regarding the future.

“I would like him to stay. At the same time though, the team has a lot of depth as it is, so we just have to wait and see how it unfolds.”

With new regulations coming into effect next year, the 2014 season provides Mercedes, one of the sport’s few engine suppliers, with their best opportunity yet to fight for drivers’ and constructors’ titles. Thus, any decision regarding Brawn’s future would be best taken sooner rather than later – although Rosberg is confident that whatever happens, the team is well-positioned to prosper next season.

“Stability is important,” he said. “I don’t want to speculate how [Brawn’s future] will impact things, because we don’t yet know the discussions that are ongoing. What I can say for sure is that we have a very strong depth to the team and that is vital. We have a lot of massively competent people throughout the team. It has changed a lot since we started four years ago.”

Yet last week in India, Brawn conceded his departure from Mercedes is an inevitability.

“The transition will eventually be handing over to Toto and Paddy; the question is timing. We want the timing that’s most effective for the team,” he said.

“I want the team to be competitive next year and I want the team to at least be in a position to win the world championship. We’re just deciding the best way of managing that.”

Lauda said he is doing all he can to convince Brawn not to quit the team at the end of the season.

“I am trying everything I can to encourage and motivate him to stay,” Lauda said.

“I am the one who asked him to stay.”

gmeenaghan@thenational.ae

Follow us on twitter at @SprtNationalUAE