Ross Brawn has revealed that he walked away from Mercedes because he “couldn’t trust” Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda.
Brawn has written a book – Total Competition: Lessons in Strategy from Formula One – along with former Williams man Adam Parr.
In it the Brawn GP team boss speaks about his decision to leave Mercedes, who had purchased his team, after their championship-winning 2009 campaign.
“What happened at Mercedes is that people were imposed on me who I couldn’t trust,” Brawn wrote. “I never really knew what they were trying to do.
“I mean Niki would tell me one thing, then I would hear he was saying something else.”
Brawn cited the signing of Paddy Lowe as an example of the breakdown in trust.
“I was beginning to deal with people who I didn’t feel I could ultimately trust; people within the team, who had let me down already in terms of their approach.
“Then in early 2013, I discovered Paddy Lowe had been contracted to join the team and it had been signed off in Stuttgart.
“When I challenged Toto and Niki, they blamed each other. I met them to have it out with them. And they both pointed to each other.
“Clearly the trust had broken down.”
He added: “I couldn’t trust this people, so I saw no future unless I was willing to go to war and remove them. I saw no future with people that I didn’t feel I could trust.”
Brawn, who was with Ferrari from 1997 to 2006, also shared light on the Scuderia’s controversial veto rule.
According to the former technical director, he was not aware of it.
“I didn’t know that we had a veto then,” he said, adding that Ferrari “didn’t use it and I don’t think Jean would have ever used it, because we knew it was wrong.”
Parr and Brawn’s book “Total Competition” will be published by Simon and Schuster on November 3rd.