Ross Brawn will step down as team principal of Mercedes AMG F1, the Brackley team has today announced.
Brawn will officially depart Merc at the end of the year, leaving Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe – recruited at the start of 2013 from McLaren – in charge of the team.
After an extended period of wrangling, it seems the decision to leave was Brawn’s own. “We have had long discussions with Ross about how he could continue with the team,” said Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda. “But it is a basic fact that you cannot hold someone back when they have chosen to move on.”
In an official statement, Brawn said: “The most important consideration in my decision to step down from the role as team principal was to ensure that the timing was right for the team in order to ensure its future success.”
Brawn exits a team he once literally called his own. Mercedes F1 was born from the Brit’s own Brawn GP outfit, which won both constructors and drivers titles in 2009 after Honda withdrew its funding.
“We must say thank you to Ross,” said Merc chairman Niki Lauda. “When you consider the step that has been made from finishing fifth in 2012 to the second place that we have secured this season, he has been the architect of this success. Toto and Paddy are the right people to lead our team in 2014 and beyond.”
We don’t know yet where Brawn shall head next, but no doubt he’ll be in demand: as well as doing the 2009 double, he was also instrumental in helping Michael Schumacher to seven titles at Benetton and Ferrari. Could he return to the Scuderia?