Lauda: Brawn wants time to go fishing, but I would not be surprised if he came back to F1
2 December, 2013
Niki Lauda expects departing Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn to return to Formula One in some capacity once he has gone fishing and taken time out.
Triple world champion Lauda, who is non-executive director of the British-based team, said he had tried hard to convince the 59-year-old to stay in charge but would keep in close contact with him anyway.
Brawn, one of the most experienced and successful figures in the sport, and Mercedes announced last week that he would be leaving at the end of the year, handing over his role to executive directors Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe.
“I’m very sad about it because I wanted him to stay another year,” Austrian Lauda told reporters before the Autosport Awards ceremony on Sunday night.
“But he says he wants to go fishing. So I really tried hard but he stays a consultant to me which I think is very good and important.
“He says he wants a rest. So it’s very simple. I think he will not go in pension (retirement), this is clear. I think he will come back, I don’t know with the (governing) FIA or whatever he likes to do,” added Lauda.
Lauda, who attended a presentation to announce a new partnership with motorsports marketing agency JMI and was later handed a lifetime achievement award at the Autosport event, said Brawn would be involved in the handover.
Lauda, whose epic 1976 championship duel was turned into the movie ‘Rush’ and released this year, was typically blunt about the challenge ahead.
“Now Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe, and Paddy especially on the technical side, has to fill this big hole he (Brawn) has left,” he said, adding that Brawn would help him get Lowe fully up to speed in his new role.
“Don’t worry, I am going to kick them like you do not believe… and hopefully we can keep on going,” he laughed.
Mercedes finished second overall this year, up from fifth in 2012, with both Germany’s Nico Rosberg and 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton winning races. (Reuters)