Retiring from his role as Formula 1’s Managing Director, Ross Brawn has all but quashed rumours he’s heading to Ferrari as he says from here on he’ll be watching “F1 from my sofa”.
The former Ferrari technical director, the mastermind behind Michael Schumacher’s run of five World titles from 2000 to 2004, has recently been linked to Mattia Binotto’s role as the Scuderia’s team boss.
According to Italian newspaper La Stampa, Brawn’s name is on the list of candidates to replace Binotto, who resigned on Tuesday after Ferrari’s 2022 title challenge petered out through strategy blunders and reliability issues.
Brawn, though, has put an end to that one, adamant he is now retired after walking away from his position as Formula 1’s managing director.
Entitled the “the next chapter for me”, the 69-year-old made it clear that he took up the Formula 1 post because he was “done” with wanting to be a part of a team.
And now he’s also done with his managing director role.
The former Brawn GP team owner, the only team to have a 100 percent title-winning record in both championships, wrote in his final column for the official F1 website: “I’ve loved everything I’ve done in the last few years.
“I’d moved away from wanting to be part of a team – I decided I’d done enough of that – and this was the only thing that could have possibly appealed. I’ve been very fortunate to have been given the opportunity by Liberty and it was a labour of love.
“Now is the right time for me to retire. We have done the bulk of the work, and we are in a consolidation period now.
“There’s a new car coming in 2026, but that’s four years away, quite distant for me, so it’s better the next group of people take on that mantle. I believe I’m leaving F1 in a great place.
“I’ve loved almost every minute of my 46-year career and I’ve been fortunate to have worked with many great teams, great drivers and great people. I wouldn’t have changed a thing. One certainty is that without my wife and family support I couldn’t have done it and I wouldn’t have wanted to do it.
“I will now watch F1 from my sofa, cheering and cursing as an F1 fan, pleased that the sport is in a fantastic place and has such a fantastic future.
“Here’s to great racing.”
Pity, Ferrari could have done with a touch of the dream team
Michael Schumacher swapped from Benetton to Ferrari in 1996 and a year later Ross Brawn followed him. They linked up with Jean Todt and chief designer Rory Byrne and so the dream team was born.
Winning 72 races together and taking five Drivers’ Championship titles, the dream team split up when Schumacher retired after the 2006 season, Brawn also leaving Ferrari.
It was without a doubt Ferrari’s most successful era, one no one ever believed would be matched – at least until Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes came along.
It was also one of the few times that Ferrari has been led by a non-Italian in Todt.
After him came Stefano Domenicali in 2008, Marco Mattiacci in 2014, Maurizio Arrivabene a year later and in 2019 the role went to Mattia Binotto. Under their leadership Ferrari have not won a single World title.
Niki Lauda summed it up when he called Ferrari under Italian leadership the “spaghetti culture”, the Austrian blaming that for Ferrari’s failure to add to their World title tally.
With Ferrari having confirmed Binotto’s resignation on Tuesday morning perhaps it’s time they looked outside Italy for a new boss… and perhaps they have with Fred Vasseur the name most widely linked to Binotto’s soon-to-be-vacant job.