Wolff: Brawn was an iconic leader and it has been felt that he has gone

5 February, 2014

Ross Brawn with Toto Wolff

Ross Brawn with Toto Wolff

Shortly after declaring that the role of a Formula 1 Team Principal was “outmoded and irrelevant in the modern era”, Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has admitted that Ross Brawn’s departure has been felt within the team.

“Of course there is always an impact when somebody like Ross leaves. He was an iconic leader, and we are going to notice that he is missing when it is getting stressful on race weekends. His leadership and his guidance is something that was extraordinary,” said Wolff.

“It has been felt that he has gone, but [Mercedes] is a large organisation with a couple of hundred really good people, and that is why we are trying to saddle it up.”

Brawn decided to retire in the aftermath of a management reshuffle within Silver Arrows outfit, which resulted in Wolff and Paddy Lowe being made joint Executive Directors.

With regards to the double pronged leadership, Lowe explained the division of responsibilities between him and Wolff, “I like to paint it more as a partnership and not a division of responsibility. We work together on most things.”

Paddy Lowe with Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff

Paddy Lowe with Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff

“He happens to specialize more on the commercial side, and myself on the technical side, but between us we’re running the team.”

“Of course, my background is [that of a] Technical Director so that gives me a benefit to understand some of the things they are doing. But my role won’t be hugely different to what Ross did the previous few years.”

“It’s something that is very exciting for me to move forward into, for both next season and the ones beyond,” added Lowe.

There has been widespread speculation that Brawn, who has had an illustrious and hugely successful career at the pinnacle of the sport, would return in a senior role with either McLaren or Honda.

These now appear off the mark as Brawn announced last week that his time in F1 was over, “I’m retiring – it’s not tongue in cheek. I’m going to take a year to enjoy the fishing and then see what life brings. I’m looking forward to it but I’ve got no other plans.” (GP247)

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