Brawn puts job on line for Mercedes success

Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP and Ross Brawn (GBR) Mercedes GP Team Principal. Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday 27 August 2011.

Ross Brawn and Michael Schumacher

Oct.30 (GMM) Mercedes‘ works team will “definitely” be on the Formula 1 grid in the coming three seasons, the marque’s motor sport president Norbert Haug confirmed in India.

But Ross Brawn was not willing to make the same guarantee about his job as team principal.

“I want to be here for the next three years,” the Briton told Bild am Sonntag newspaper in a joint interview with Haug.

“If you don’t perform, then you’re out. I am the boss. If the project is not running right, then it will be over,” predicted Brawn.

The same might be true for Michael Schumacher, whose current contract runs out at the end of next season.

By 2013, when he will be 44, will Schumacher be clearly too old to perform?

“I see no reason why,” insisted Brawn. “Everyone can see that Michael has stepped up this season and is still growing.

“If he can fight for podiums and wins next year, then why should he stop? At the same time if we are not successful next year, then his decision to stop will be easier.”

Brawn said the decision is ultimately Schumacher’s.

“It is very easy to talk to Michael about a new contract,” he said. “If he wants to continue, we will find a solution quickly. I don’t know what the outcome will be. And neither does he.

“Let’s see how good we are in 2012,” added Brawn.

Said Haug: “At the very least, I don’t think Michael has the intention to go to another team.”

It is arguably a more complicated situation with the other seat, as Nico Rosberg has clearly outperformed Schumacher in 2011 and 2011, attracting the attention of rival teams.

“The market is open,” admitted Haug. “And there are many drivers who are knocking on our door. But Nico wants to move forward and we want to do it with him.

“In general you can go to the wrong team at the wrong team, which is a mistake every driver should try to avoid.”

Brawn agreed: “Nico believes in the people here at Mercedes, and we believe in him. It’s just a matter of time.”

Haug said having the right driver is crucial for an F1 team, with the latest example being Red Bull.

“They have a fantastic car and a very stable team,” the German acknowledged, “but Sebastian Vettel makes the difference for them.

“Just look at the big gap between him and his teammate Webber, who I respect a lot. Sebastian is the key to their success,” added Haug.

  • Evel

    Brawn is really annoying me.
    He is the one who convinced Schumacher to return and basically lied to him about the car and the team.
    Yet I get the feeling Nico is the one getting the most support.
    Michael seems to have a lot more problems with his car – he’s never been one to complain but I think the car has given him problems much more than with Nico.
    Michael’s engineers can’t even fit a wheel without it falling off! I hope someone was fired for that.
    Don’t forget Brawn, Michael has won hundreds of GP’s and seven championships, Nico has won zero.
    Sure Nico is a great prospect for the future but Brawn owes it to Michael to let him have preference over Nico .
    He also owes him a car able to fight for wins and the championship and it must be built around Michael who’s the proven champion in the team.
    I know that Michael is not getting any younger and perhaps Rosberg seems like a better long term prospect, prompting the team to give him more preference, however he may go to Ferrari next year for all we know.
    Michael on the other hand is committed to this team ONLY.
    There are plenty of other ‘Nico Rosberg’s’ to lead the team once Schumi retires but there is only one Michael Schumacher.
    I don’t like Brawn’s comment about Nico clearly outperforming Michael this year.
    It hasn’t been very clear to me at all.
    Michael has had far better starts and has much better pace during the race.
    On average he’s 0.4 sec quicker than Nico per lap during the race – IMO Nico is getting it handed to him on the Sunday by a guy almost twice his age.
    On Sunday Schumacher very clearly looks the better driver.
    The only area where Nico is outperforming Schumacher (but the gap is closing) is in qualifying.
    Michael has said he battles to switch on the tire for that one fast lap you get out of the Pirelli tires.
    However he always seems to have problems with his car come qualifying. I don’t buy that it’s just excuses because he can’t keep up with Nico because he’s very clearly faster than Nico in all the practices too.
    I think his engineers are doing a crappy job finding the perfect setup for qualifying.
    I really think Michael should complain more, why is Nico not having as many issues?
    I think that if Merc can finally put together a car that suits Schumi’s style we’ll see Michael walking over Rosberg.
    If Ross doesn’t build Michael a car which takes him to his 8th title, I’ll view it more as a failure on Brawn’s part and will never forgive him for deceiving and betraying Schumacher.