Lowe admits Mercedes waiting on Brawn
The ongoing debate about when – or whether – Ross Brawn will decide to relinquish control of the Mercedes F1 team even has the Brackley squad itself waiting on a decision, with possible successor Paddy Lowe insisting that he is none the wiser as to his colleague's intentions.
Niki Lauda has already rubbished rumors that Brawn had decided to walk away from the team at the end of the season, insisting that he was still in talks with the highly-respected team principal. Amid denials that negotiations had broken down, and outside suggestions that Brawn has decided that, unable to get the assurances he wants with regard to his stature in the inflated Mercedes technical hierarchy, he would sever his ties with the team, Lowe also claimed that there had been no decision.
“There's been a lot of talk about this in the last few months, [and] the fact is that Ross will step back at some point,” he noted, “It's not clear what the timing is for that, or whether he will step back completely or remain in a different role within the team. At the moment we're waiting for Ross's call on that.
“In the meantime, I'm working very well with Ross and with Toto [Wolff] - there's no issue there, we work very well together. I would like to say there's no impatience on that aspect, so we'll just have to wait and see how it turns out.”
Brawn's position was thrown into doubt in the early part of the season, following the acquisition of Lowe from McLaren. Many expected the 58-year old to be forced out of his position as team boss, but Mercedes instead opted for a 'soft transition', with Lowe gradually anticipated to take on more and more responsibility during the year. It is thought that Brawn's exit would eventually leave his fellow Briton in charge of technical and sporting matters, with Wolff looking after all business aspects of the team, but Lauda insists that, should Brawn stay, he would remain in charge of the race team.
Those who believe that Brawn will leave at the end of the year also think that he is more likely to take a year out from F1, rather than jump straight into another role elsewhere in the pit-lane. The Briton – who oversaw world championships for Michael Schumacher at both Benetton and Ferrari, as well as one for Jenson Button at his own eponymous team, took a similar sabbatical after leaving the Scuderia in 2006, and used the time to indulge in his other passion, fishing. Crash.net