Ross Brawn planning to take a significant step back after F1 2022 season ends

Jon Wilde
Ross Brawn speaks to reporters. Imola April 2022.

Formula 1 managing director of motorsports, Ross Brawn. Imola April 2022.

Ross Brawn has confirmed he intends taking a major step back from Formula 1 at the end of this year.

The 67-year-old Briton began working in motorsport in 1976 for March Engineering and two years later joined Williams.

But it is his time with Benetton, Ferrari, his own self-named team and Mercedes for which Brawn will be best remembered.

He previously spent a spell in retirement between 2014 and 2016 but was tempted back to F1 as motorsports managing director in 2017.

After six years in that role, Brawn says he feels the time has come for him to take more of a back seat again.

“I want to cut back considerably, let’s put it that way,” he told F1-Insider.

“I will continue to be available with my expertise, but I will no longer be responsible for an area every day.

“That means I will take care of my children and grandchildren again, go fishing more and take care of my garden.”

Brawn enjoyed World Championship success in key roles at Benetton and Ferrari, alongside Michael Schumacher, and his own team in 2009 with Jenson Button which was then bought out by Mercedes.

But the job he has done for the last six years is a very different responsibility, he says.

“There were different periods, different challenges. I was part of a team, then I had my own team, finally I worked for the marketer,” he explained.

“These are always completely different tasks. And the pressure was also different in each case.”

Asked where that pressure is greatest, he replied: “Definitely when you work for a team or have to lead your own. The task is so incredibly responsible, so incredibly intense.

“Today, I couldn’t do that anymore. The emotions are so high, whether you win or lose. Today I enjoy helping to generate new fans. For example, we have more female supporters than before.”

George Russell speaks to Ross Brawn. Monza September 2022.
Mercedes driver George Russell in conversation with F1's managing director of motorsport, Ross Brawn. Monza September 2022.

In attracting those new supporters, Brawn was tasked with helping to devise new regulations aimed at making racing closer and more exciting, with those rules having been introduced this year.

Asked for his take on how well they have worked, he said: “Basically, I’m very happy. The cars can follow each other more closely and overtake better as a result.

“Side-by-side driving has also become easier. Before, not many people know, but a car lost performance there as well.

“Pirelli have also contributed to the improvement. So everything has worked well before. The fact some teams were able to implement the new rules better and the others are upset about it is Formula 1 folklore and was planned beforehand.

“It has hit Mercedes in particular. But they are not idiots, they will get it right.”

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