Skip to main content

Brawn defiant amid talk of change at Mercedes

February 26, 2013 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
Ross Brawn has been in position at Mercedes since the manufacturer returned to Formula One in 2010.
Ross Brawn has been in position at Mercedes since the manufacturer returned to Formula One in 2010.
  • Ross Brawn is focused on role at Mercedes despite speculation over his future
  • Reports suggest Brawn could be replaced by Paddy Lowe in 2014
  • Lowe has been placed on gardening leave by McLaren ahead of exit in 2014
  • The 2013 Formula One season begins with the Australian Grand Prix on March 17

(CNN) -- He's working under a new boss and rumors are gathering pace that he could find himself looking for a new job in a year, but Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn is focused on delivering success ahead of the 2013 Formula One season.

Brawn is one of motorsport's most celebrated engineers, best known for the nine years he spent with Ferrari between 1997 and 2006 which saw the Italian team win six constructors' championships and five drivers' titles.

He went on to oversee drivers' and manufacturers' success at the eponymous Brawn GP team in 2009, but the Englishman's position at Mercedes is rumored to be under threat following the announcement McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe will join the German team in 2014.

However Brawn, who is now working beneath Mercedes' newly-appointed head of motorsport Toto Wolff, is focused and confident ahead of the new season getting under way in Australia on March 17.

CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day One
CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day Two

Read: F1 revolution ahead after "indetikit" 2013

"I am responsible for the sporting side; running the team on an operational level," Brawn told the sport's official website. "If we can maintain that then there will not be a problem."

Despite the recruitment of Wolff, the most high-profile new arrival at the German team ahead of the new campaign is 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton -- who ended a career-long association with McLaren to sign a three-year contract with Mercedes in September.

Brawn has been impressed with Hamilton during preseason testing, despite a hydraulic problem causing the British driver to crash out of his first drive for the team at Jerez.

Read: Hamilton brushes off talk of title

"Lewis is a fantastic driver from a speed, competitiveness and racing perspective, and now we have to learn to work together on an engineering and development side," continued Brawn.

"I must say that the short period he has been with us has been very positive, and there is no doubt that he is now a part of our team."

Fresh challenge

Events at Hamilton's old team could have a huge bearing on the future of Brawn and Mercedes.

CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day Three
CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day Four

Former director of engineering Tim Goss has been promoted to the role of technical director at McLaren, with team principal Martin Whitmarsh confirming previous incumbent Lowe is to leave the marque in 2014.

Read: Champ Vettel - Red Bull better

"Paddy will be performing a different role within McLaren until the end of the year," Whitmarsh told the F1 website.

"He's been a good and successful F1 technical director, and we wish him well when he embarks on a fresh challenge in 2014."

Reports have suggested that fresh challenge could be filling Brawn's boots at Mercedes, though Mercedes GP non-executive chairman Niki Lauda was coy when quizzed about Lowe's possible arrival.

Read: Alonso demands Ferrari improvement

"I cannot officially say anything because nothing has happened yet," three-time world champion Lauda told BBC Sport.

"If Paddy Lowe is coming or not, I cannot tell you now. Make up your own [mind], whatever you want to do.

CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day Five
Who is the greatest F1 driver ever?

"The situation is as it is. McLaren have put him [Lowe] on gardening leave, so let's wait and see. To be clear, Ross has not even been discussed, which is an important thing.

"But there's peace. Ross is in his position, he will stay in his position, so everything is under control, there is nothing to make out of this."

Having not won a title in the sport since 2009, Brawn insists he remains determined to bring glory to Mercedes over the coming season.

"I think it makes you more ambitious -- hungrier to get back to that feeling that you had when you were successful," added Brawn.

"Formula One is an incredibly challenging business and one has to be right on several levels to achieve success. We convinced Lewis (Hamilton) to join us, and we put in place a very good technical line-up during 2012 -- and the car we've got now is reflecting that.

"Yes, it has been frustrating, but I genuinely feel that we are going in the right direction."

Glove auction

Meanwhile a pair of racing gloves worn by F1 great Ayrton Senna have been sold for £22,000 ($33,000) at an auction in London.

The Brazilian wore the gloves during the 1991 season, when he clinched the last of his three world championships while racing for McLaren.

Senna lost his life following a crash at Imola in 1994. The proceeds from the sale of the gloves and the 10 other lots in the auction will be donated to the Grand Prix Mechanics Charitable Trust.

Part of complete coverage on
March 15, 2014 -- Updated 0108 GMT (0908 HKT)
The big winners of this Formula One season could be road drivers rather than F1 racers, according to one former world champion.
March 14, 2014 -- Updated 1730 GMT (0130 HKT)
The Williams team welcomes the biggest rule changes to Formula One cars for a generation.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1916 GMT (0316 HKT)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton sums up the dawn of a new Formula One era in three juicy words -- weird, mind-blowing and challenging.
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 1216 GMT (2016 HKT)
Formula One is taking another step in its techno evolution this season, which could be more unpredictable than it has been for a long time.
February 24, 2014 -- Updated 2255 GMT (0655 HKT)
Susie Wolff
Despite being a sport well into its seventh decade, only two women have ever driven in Formula 1 but Susie Wolff hopes to become the third.
February 24, 2014 -- Updated 1736 GMT (0136 HKT)
Jann Mardenborough on the similarities and differences between driving a race on a video game and driving a real F1 car.
February 22, 2014 -- Updated 1226 GMT (2026 HKT)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin watches the men's cross-country 4 x 10km relay event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics on February 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ RIA-NOVOSTI/ POOL/ MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)
How Russian president Vladimir Putin helped turn a muddy hole in the ground into a $400 million futuristic grand prix track in Sochi.
February 21, 2014 -- Updated 0013 GMT (0813 HKT)
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) and Formula One racing director Bernie Ecclestone talk during a ceremony of signing of an agreement to bring Formula One racing to Sochi for a Grand Prix Russia to be held in 2014, the same year the Black Sea resort hosts the Winter Olympics in Sochi on October 14, 2010. Putin, whose backing was crucial in Sochi winning the right to host the Games, is due in the city on Thursday to sign an agreement for work to begin on the construction of a new 200 million dollar circuit. AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Vilified by the the international community for his government's attitude on gay rights, Russian president Vladimir Putin has found an ally.
January 22, 2014 -- Updated 1217 GMT (2017 HKT)
CNN's Rosie Tomkins speaks to Caterham F1 owner Tony Fernandes on the team's driver line-up for 2014.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1613 GMT (0013 HKT)
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is bidding for a fifth consecutive drivers' championship in 2014.
He is Formula One's undisputed No. 1, and next season Sebastian Vettel will have proof of that fact emblazoned on his Red Bull.
December 4, 2013 -- Updated 1633 GMT (0033 HKT)
A new era of F1 looms large on the horizon in 2014, but what do the new rules mean for how we watch the sport? Get up to speed here.
October 17, 2013 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
Explore our interactive of one of F1's most important and complicated pieces of kit.