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Fuel to the Brawn Fire

Some people just don’t know how to go on sabbatical. Ross Brawn is obviously bored already with his round-the-world fishing holiday and has been talking to the German magazine, Auto Motor und Sport about his return to F1.

Brawn

Ross Brawn

He says very little but there are hints included that tempt me to say, “I told you so.” From being a certainty, returning to Ferrari as the boss is now just an option. And resuming as technical director won’t cut it anymore. It seems to me that Ross has realized that it may not be as easy to go back to Ferrari as he once thought.

In a year’s time, the team as now constituted will be settled and everyone jealously guarding their position. Stepping down to allow room for Brawn may not be a priority for whoever is leading the team by then. Someone is bound to come up with the idea that, just because Ross was a great technical director, it does not follow that he would make a great team boss.

Clearly, Ross is keeping his options open. He is prepared to give Ferrari first shot at a job offer but it has to be as the boss. Once honor is satisfied, he is up for grabs by any team that makes the right offer.

Most likely to want Brawn is McLaren. Mercedes is apparently a little annoyed by Ron Dennis’ sale of shares to an Arab consortium and may well be looking for ways to increase their hold on the team. Since Ron looks to be preparing for retirement anyway, Ross Brawn might appear at just the right moment to be his replacement, especially as he has already demonstrated a loyalty to his employers and a willingness to tread the company line.

Whatever happens, it is becoming apparent that Brawn’s future is not set in stone – he has options apart from Ferrari and is not averse to considering them. All that remains to be seen is whether Ferrari can continue to win, now that the Schumacher/Todt/Brawn triumvirate is broken and dispersed.

Personally, I doubt it.

4 Responses to “Fuel to the Brawn Fire”

  1. Yes, there can be no argument that Ross Brawn was Ferrari’s to lose … and it increasingly looks as if they’ve done exactly that. Actually, Ross’ best option now may be a team change, since it seems unlikely he could fully exercise that considerable talent anywhere within Ferrari’s current environment.

    This suggests that perhaps the understandably dissatisfied Nigel Stepney will also fall prey to the pointed shoe brigade when it’s too late for him to find another slot for the ‘07 campaign. His replacement is probably already waiting in the wings. Who? Any needy relative carrying an Italian passport I would imagine.

    Finally, the mystery of Michael Schumacher’s position remains. I just can’t accept that 15% Willie (Webber) was naive enough to have withdrawn his gifted client from competition for a lousy salary of some $6,000 000 (reported). Surely 15% of $50,000,000 is a much more attractive figure? Michael’s last race of the ‘06 season suggests that his passion and ability are still there and likely to remain so for another two years or so.

  2. I suppose the Italianization of Ferrari was bound to happen in the end – it must have been galling for them to see success delivered by tame foreigners after so many years of trying and failing themselves. But I agree that Michael’s retirement still seems strange. There was a brief rumor that he was forced out by Montezemolo but to keep him hanging around without a real job to do is a bit pointless. And yet he seems happy enough. Maybe he’s waiting until it all falls apart and he can come back as “the one who saved Ferrari from the Italian press…” ;)

  3. [...] the rumor about Brawn being linked to McLaren are not just rumors ? In that case what Clive “told us so” seems very [...]

  4. [...] gets out that McLaren want Ross Brawn to work for them in 2008, it’s inevitable that I will say it again. It makes sense that they would want his services, if only to deny them to the [...]

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