After Toto Wolff praised Ross Brawn for getting the ball rolling within the Mercedes team and credited their success to him, the former Ferrari engineer played down the legacy he left at the Silver Arrows.
Brawn explained that although he was part of the early stages of their development since selling Brawn GP to the German manufacturer, the current leaders at the Mercedes garage have actually improved the team since he left in 2013.
“You cannot go on claiming credit indefinitely,” Brawn told the Guardian.
“They’ve been generous in acknowledging I provided the structure and created the team but I said to Toto: ‘You haven’t dropped the ball.’
“They haven’t cocked it up. There are so many examples of teams with the biggest budgets not winning. Toyota had so many years in Formula 1 and didn’t win a race.”
With abstracts from his new book ‘Total Competition: Lessons in Strategy in Formula One’ saying he left Mercedes because he lost the trust between Wolff and Nikki Lauda, Brawn admitted that he was also at fault for the problems that went on behind the scenes, but stated the relationship with the duo is ‘good’ now.
“The book helped me realise I was as much responsible for events as they were. It had run its course and the motivation I once had didn’t exist anymore,” said the 61-year-old.
“Just winning another World Championship was not a reason for me to stay. But I had lots of good friends and felt sensitive towards Lewis because I had persuaded him to go to Mercedes.
“But the team was in very good shape and all the signs were that 2014 would be a winning year. So it proved.
“There’s no problem between me and Toto now. Formula 1 is a tough business and you cross swords with many people.
“But I always wanted to compete with someone on a Sunday and have a glass of wine with them afterwards. Same with Mercedes. I may not agree with everything they do but I want us to have a decent relationship.”