Ross Brawn, Formula 1 Managing Director of Motorsport, who has been integral in the introduction of the new aero regulations is set to exit the sport in 2022, reports have claimed.
Brawn who’s most recent role in F1, prior to becoming Managing Director of the sport, was team principal at Mercedes. The Briton left the team at the end of 2013 as part of a management re-shuffle with Toto Wolff taking over as team boss and the late Niki Lauda joining as non-executive chairman.
Brawn resurfaced in 2017 as Liberty Media hired him to manage to sporting aspect of F1 after taking over the sport, and has been in that role ever since.
However it has been reported by Autosport that Brawn, the former Ferrari technical director, was set to leave his role within F1 at the end of 2022.
Autosport has referenced the news to “a document issued by F1 as an update on future developments within the organisation”.
The report also mentioned that there are no clear plans whether the former Brawn GP team owner is set to retain any “honorary or consultancy role with the F1 organisation” and whether a successor has been lined up to replace him.
More organizational changes within F1
Former Renault technical director Pat Symonds, who was embroiled in the 2008 Singapore GP Crashgate saga, joined Brawn in F1 in 2017 to head up the technical department and has worked with the Managing Director on the development of the 2022 new aero regulations.
It is also reported that 68-year-old Symonds – who did a stint as technical boss of Williams F1 team after his ban from F1 (due to the Crashgate) was lifted – would also be leaving his role within the F1 organization, especially since the new aero regulations have been finalized, and the 2026 engine regulations set to be finalized soon as well.
It all seems that this news comes in line with a raft of organizational changes within F1, always according to Autosport, that will result in the technical team working with Brawn and Symonds being transferred to work with the sport’s governing body, the FIA.
As per the report, the changes come as “a move that has in part been encouraged by an EU requirement to separate the rule-making process from the promotional organisation”, although the reports maintain that there is “no suggestion of non-compliance” behind the change, but in favour of “separation of responsibilities is clearer”.
With the team of engineers assembled by Brawn and Symonds being made up of former F1 team employees, Autosport has claimed that “some teams have expressed concerns about F1’s recent close involvement in shaping the rules, which are the responsibility of the FIA”, with the report mentioning that “most of the people on that team, will henceforth be employees of the FIA”
What’s next for Brawn
On the back of Autosport’s report, a good question would arise. What’s next for Ross Brawn?
Would the highly successful engineer call it a day and retire for good? Or maybe would he be lured back into F1, but this time in some sort of role with his previous team Ferrari?
The Briton has been part of the team’s most successful era, the Brawn-Schumacher-Todt era, when the Maranello squad swept five consecutive F1 Title double between 2000 and 2004.
After Jean Todt was replaced as FIA president by newly elected Mohammed Ben Sulayem, rumours were all over the place that the Frenchman would be heading to Ferrari to help the under-pressure Mattia Binotto sort out the Scuderia and get it out of the woods.