Long-time Formula One sporting director Ross Brawn has explained his retirement from motorsport’s pinnacle, and Brawn has spoken out, indirectly contradicting rumours that he could become Ferrari team principal.
“Now is the right time for me to retire. We have done most of the work and are now in a consolidation phase,” the 68-year-old Englishman said in his Formula One column.
“There’s a new car coming in 2026, but that’s four years away and quite far away for me, so it’s better for the next group of people to take over. I think I’m leaving Formula One in a great state.”
History of F1 success
Brawn was instrumental in record champion Michael Schumacher’s seven world championship titles at Benetton and Ferrari.
He took a sabbatical in 2007 and returned to F1 for the 2008 season as team principal of Honda. He acquired the Honda team in early 2009 to form the Brawn GP team, which won the Formula One Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships in that year. Mercedes bought into the team in November 2009, making Brawn team principal and co-owner with Nick Fry.
In 2011 Brawn and Fry sold the remaining shares to Mercedes Benz, with Brawn remaining as team principal. In November 2013, it was announced that Brawn would step down, and leadership would be handed over to Paddy Lowe and Toto Wolff. Following speculation linking him with other teams, Brawn announced his retirement from Formula One in February 2014, and since 2017 he has been Formula One’s sporting director.
In September, he had announced his retirement from the top post. But there is already speculation in Italy about a possible return to Ferrari. Brawn has been quick to speak out on his plans since the rumours came to light.
“I have loved almost every minute of my 46-year career and I have been lucky to work with many great teams, great drivers and great people. I wouldn’t want to change anything about that,” Brawn said.
“I’ll be sitting in front of the TV, cheering and ranting like a fan, knowing that I’m leaving our sport at a point where it’s doing very well and the outlook is bright.”