Amidst the rumours circulating from the Bild story last night, it’s now been confirmed that Ross Brawn will become the sporting head of F1.
Much speculation has been had regarding Mr E’s eventual replacement over the years. But it’s become clear the days of a single head of an organisation are over, F1 has become too large to support this style of management.
F1 teams rarely have a single team principal now and this will also become true of the governing body.
It’s understood the duties of this new role for Brawn will include focusing on liaising between the teams and the FIA, the sporting governing body. In essence, he’ll be an intrinsic part of shaping future regulations for the cars and the sport in general. There will be little or no input into the commercial side of the sport, presumably F1’s new owners, Liberty Media, will announce their commercial intentions once Mr E’s eventual demise occurs.
Clearly this is a role not for the faint hearted. Ferrari have an automatic veto on any sporting reg changes they don’t agree with. Red Bull have long been in the pocket and have substantial say in policy along with Mercedes Benz.
During an interview with the Telegraph at the weekend Brawn expressed his lack of interest on returning to F1 as a team principal.
“That’s how I like to be involved in the sport,” he said. “I would never go back to a team. I did everything I can in a team, but I would be repeating myself.
For sure, trying to help F1 become a better F1 would be appealing. It would be the one thing that could be interesting. If you ask me what F1 needs, it needs a plan; a three-year and a five-year plan.
My view is we haven’t got the ideal structure for creating that plan and implementing it over time.”
Is Brawn the ideal man for the job? True, many in the paddock and FIA respect him. Many would say he’s most likely the only candidate for the role in fact.
The big question is however, can he bring significant change to the sport?
The shackle of Bernie Ecclestone’s back room deals will leave a nigh on impossible legacy which will require extensive negotiations to unravel. The decision making of recent times reflect this inability to direct the sport and Ross Brawn will find his new role difficult in the extreme.
Couple these facts with the Ferrari veto reality… PLUS the recent revelations from Ross Brawn himself about his lack of trust toward Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda at Mercedes (given as his reasons for leaving the team) and this leaves us with the unsavoury realisation that our beloved Ross Brawn is most likely in the pocket of Todt and the FIA.
Look back to the debacle that was their investigation of the events of Suzuka 2014? Ross Brawn was a significant participant of the investigation into the events relating to the death of the Marussia driver, Jules Bianchi.
The investigation was internal with very little detail in the public domain. Such is the likelihood the FIA & Whiting were just ‘going through the motions’ with the creation of this document, it remains a blot on the copy book of Ross Brawn that he was involved with it full stop. The Bianchi family have since decided to pursue the FIA in a legal action regarding the failures during that fateful day in Japan.
All of this points to a very real question mark over the relationship Brawn has with the FIA.
Time will tell as to what kind of impact Brawn will have on F1 with his new role. Fans across the globe will be wishing for it to be a positive one.
Lets hope so…