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Brawn to leave Mercedes at the end of the 2013 season


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#451 syolase

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 19:41

If it's working don't fix it.

The problem that they started to fix it, and meanwhile it started working. Not the best timing.



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#452 Rickyf1

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 19:45

Would loved to see him at Williams.

#453 Owen

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 21:16

Hit the paywall, but more opinion here

@easonF1: My take on Ross Brawn leaving Merc. Oh dear http://t.co/TOgCyiQh26

#454 Knot

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 21:55

What an epic screw up.

 

Things will looks rosy for a bit, since there's quite a bit of organizational inertia after a lead change, but this one is going to bite them in the ass after all the Brawness has worn off.

 

Also, I wonder how long it will take for some of Brawn's top picks to bail out? Costa, et cetera.

 

I don't know anything about this Lowe fellow, but Wolff did a fine job of flying Williams into the ground...I mean, the guy is the Maldonado of team bosses; only there because of his money and quite reckless.

 

Also, why is Lauda there, unless it is as janitor? He was horrible as boss at Jaguar F1, so I can't imagine why anyone would value what he has to say about the workings of a team.


Edited by Knot, 28 November 2013 - 21:56.


#455 loki

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 22:12

Interesting that there will be no Team Principal job title any longer.

Toto is Executive Director  - Business.

Paddy is Executive Director - Technical.

 

Who will be the defacto figure head of the team?

Nikki Lauda



#456 Coral

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 22:28

How many of these doom-mongers predicted that Jenson Button would be WDC in 2012 and McLaren would be the team to beat in 2013? :stoned:

 

None of us know what is going to happen. My prediction? Mercedes will be fine. (I hope)!... :cool:



#457 Timstr11

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 22:30

Nikki Lauda

No. We've been through this before. Lauda has a non-executive, supervisory role. He's not involved in day to day running of the team.

 

I think Lowe and Wolff each report directly to Prof. Thomas Weber who's a member of the Daimler board responsible for R&D.



#458 EvanRainer

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 23:58

Seriously though who will be the TP? I don't care that they say there's no such role in name, someone's going to be sitting there running things.

 

Will it be Wolff? And if yes, other than it being hilarious, why not just call him that and have him have some "business" title?

 

Unless it will be Lowe...or maybe a two headed monster. Either way it has disaster written all over it.


Edited by EvanRainer, 28 November 2013 - 23:58.


#459 as65p

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 00:09

Seriously though who will be the TP? I don't care that they say there's no such role in name, someone's going to be sitting there running things.

 

Will it be Wolff? And if yes, other than it being hilarious, why not just call him that and have him have some "business" title?

 

Unless it will be Lowe...or maybe a two headed monster. Either way it has disaster written all over it.

 

Looks like it. From my armchair I can't see anything positive in driving Brawn out (well, except from the other teams perspective). Looks like another big manufacturer not grasping the requirements to succeed in F1, which are very different to those selling cars. Then again, it's just my armchair followers opinion, I vaguely remember having been wrong before... ;)

 

As I said before, the only thing that could save them short term is a dominant package for next season, that will brush over almost everything.



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#460 Fastcake

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 01:03

No. We've been through this before. Lauda has a non-executive, supervisory role. He's not involved in day to day running of the team.

 

I think Lowe and Wolff each report directly to Prof. Thomas Weber who's a member of the Daimler board responsible for R&D.

 

You did ask who would be the figurehead though, and Lauda could fit that description.

 

From what I gather, Mercedes have set up a structure where Lowe runs the operations at the track and in the factory, while Wolff is in charge of the business decisions, essentially taking over Nick Fry's and Norbet Haug's old positions with added authority as an equal head of the team. Decisions that have to be taken be the team as a whole, including for example driver decisions, will be discussed by the Mercedes F1 team board chaired by Niki Lauda, and including Lowe, Wolff, and the other members Mercedes appointed.  



#461 EvanRainer

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 01:24

Does that mean Lowe will be effectively team principle? Will Lowe decide on team orders for example? Who's the head coach?



#462 baddog

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 03:36

I dont hold huge hopes, just because the 'team' of lowe, wolff and lauda is wholly uninspiring to me.



#463 Gilles4Ever

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 06:18

I don't get it. At this time of massive change you make a plan and keep someone like Ross Brawn in your team.

 

As I understand they have refused to let Ross stay in charge but as he has left the void they haven't moved anyone into his place. 

 

Before: Lowe and Woolf report to Brawn who reports to the board.

After: Lowe and Wolff report to the board.

 

To me it looks like either the board didn't want Brawn in the chain of command and wanted to be closer to the team or Lowe and Wolff didn't want to report to Ross.



#464 Timstr11

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 07:54

You did ask who would be the figurehead though, and Lauda could fit that description.

 

From what I gather, Mercedes have set up a structure where Lowe runs the operations at the track and in the factory, while Wolff is in charge of the business decisions, essentially taking over Nick Fry's and Norbet Haug's old positions with added authority as an equal head of the team. Decisions that have to be taken be the team as a whole, including for example driver decisions, will be discussed by the Mercedes F1 team board chaired by Niki Lauda, and including Lowe, Wolff, and the other members Mercedes appointed.  

I don't see how. Journalists will go to Lowe for e.g. questions about qualifying and race strategy decisions. Not Lauda. as he's not part of the decision making on those matters. I also wonder if Wolff will sit on the pitwall now. Will he have communication responsibilities during races? Unclear.



#465 SophieB

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 08:09

I don't get it. At this time of massive change you make a plan and keep someone like Ross Brawn in your team.

 

As I understand they have refused to let Ross stay in charge but as he has left the void they haven't moved anyone into his place. 

 

Before: Lowe and Woolf report to Brawn who reports to the board.

After: Lowe and Wolff report to the board.

 

To me it looks like either the board didn't want Brawn in the chain of command and wanted to be closer to the team or Lowe and Wolff didn't want to report to Ross.

 

My (incomplete) understanding is that this has been the sticking point along - I'm not sure that Lowe and Wolff ever did report directly to Ross. Although obviously up to now, he's been the team principal, they've been very vague about that all along and it's generally been presented in practice as working *with* him, hence the tension. I don't think it was ever intended (crazily) by Wolff that Ross was going to stay for as long as he did.



#466 Timstr11

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 09:38

I think Lowe did report to Brawn.

Wolff reported to Thomas Weber.



#467 paulrobs

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 11:09

I think Brawn has done amazingly well at Mercedes given whether they were when he started andwhere they are now. They are now looking like Red Bull's strongest challengers week in and week out and if they can produce the powerunits they are rumoured to be producing they should be right up there next year and capable of challenging for titles. Nothing is guaranteed but the momentum and signs are there.

 

Brawn took over at BAR and within 2 years had two titles in a car that was essentially a Honda but with his name on the side. He'd also helped to mastermind and manage Ferrari's successes along with Schumacher, Todt and the rest of the team. No mean feat and his record speaks for itself.

 

I hope the guy pops back up somewhere in F1. His contribution has been enormous and it looks like he's handled his departure from Mercedes in a very professional and level headed way that allows him to leave with his head held high and Mercedes able to concentrate on the future and acknowledge Ross Brawn's efforts in getting them to where they are now. Of all the team principals, Brawn comes across as one of the calmest, level headed, sensible, knowledgable and professional of them all. I hope he turns up somewhere. Maybe he'll even end up working with the FIA to sort out F1? I realise we need a Concorde Agreement and lots of regulations and teams having a say on the major decisions made in F1 but we have to have someone in control who can make the decisions to force necessary change through. I'm thinking cost cutting to avoid losing teams, agreeing sensible in season testing limits, ability for teams to run more than 2 cars, agreeing sensible contracts with sensible suppliers (tyres here), reducing aero (and ugly stupid designs resulting from aero v regulations), and finally getting back towards flat out racing or at least moving the pendulum more towards this. Brawn might just be the person to help the FIA do this. Trouble is, it might also need the venture capitalists to vacate the premises.


Edited by paulrobs, 29 November 2013 - 11:18.


#468 doc83

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 11:14

Unfortunately the news made me believe Merc doesn’t have a good car for next year. If Brawn knew they had a bomb like in 2009 he wouldn’t leave. Just a gut feeling

 



#469 paulrobs

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 11:14

I do fear for Mercedes though. The structure isn't clear and I don't see anything in Lowe or Wolff that leads me to believe they will do better than Brawn. We'll have to see but a clear and well define structure with recognised roles and responsibilities is every bit as important as the people filling those roles, perhaps even more so in the complex superheated environment that is F1. McLaren have shown in recent years that management by committee together with constant distraction from the Board does not allow a team to be successful.



#470 Owen

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 11:45

Unfortunately the news made me believe Merc doesn’t have a good car for next year. If Brawn knew they had a bomb like in 2009 he wouldn’t leave. Just a gut feeling

I think this is about Brawn, the man, not the car. He has said clearly he has to be the 'point of reference' in the team. Next year will not be a satisfying year for him if he is not that point of reference, not matter how good the car is.



#471 F1ultimate

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 11:52

I think this is about Brawn, the man, not the car. He has said clearly he has to be the 'point of reference' in the team. Next year will not be a satisfying year for him if he is not that point of reference, not matter how good the car is.

 

Yupp. Besides that the entire paddock has immense respect for him and they know that if the car succeeds next year, it's because of him. He values his dignity more than just getting to lift the trophy along side others. Riding shotgun isn't want he wants to do for a living.



#472 Paul Parker

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 12:34

I don't get it. At this time of massive change you make a plan and keep someone like Ross Brawn in your team.

 

As I understand they have refused to let Ross stay in charge but as he has left the void they haven't moved anyone into his place. 

 

Before: Lowe and Woolf report to Brawn who reports to the board.

After: Lowe and Wolff report to the board.

 

To me it looks like either the board didn't want Brawn in the chain of command and wanted to be closer to the team or Lowe and Wolff didn't want to report to Ross.

 

I think your surmise might be correct, generally speaking corporate management wants total control, they require 'company men' not individuals with independent thoughts.



#473 syolase

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 13:07

The biggest problem is that i don't see who's gonna hold together these people. I can believe that Costa, Bell, Willis gone there because of Brawn and his master plan (and of course a buttload of money), maybe they will stay for 1-2 more years (depending on the success of the coming years) but after that? Ted made a good point, theres is no real leader personality at Merc.



#474 Fastcake

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 13:18

I don't see how. Journalists will go to Lowe for e.g. questions about qualifying and race strategy decisions. Not Lauda. as he's not part of the decision making on those matters. I also wonder if Wolff will sit on the pitwall now. Will he have communication responsibilities during races? Unclear.


As I said, I imagine Lowe is going to be running things at the track. Wolff has no experience in that area.

#475 Baddoer

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 14:57

Good riddance.



#476 Szoelloe

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 16:46

What an epic screw up.

 

Things will looks rosy for a bit, since there's quite a bit of organizational inertia after a lead change, but this one is going to bite them in the ass after all the Brawness has worn off.

 

Also, I wonder how long it will take for some of Brawn's top picks to bail out? Costa, et cetera.

 

I don't know anything about this Lowe fellow, but Wolff did a fine job of flying Williams into the ground...I mean, the guy is the Maldonado of team bosses; only there because of his money and quite reckless.

 

Also, why is Lauda there, unless it is as janitor? He was horrible as boss at Jaguar F1, so I can't imagine why anyone would value what he has to say about the workings of a team.

 

I agree. This could - I think it will - have a bigger impact than they wish at Merc.

I don't think Wolff is that bad though. He did not finish what he started there, and flying Williams to the ground was mostly down the remnants of the Patrick Head fanclub - or the remains of it at least - who went to war with Wolff, but that's quite off in here I presume. Lauda is not the Boss either. He is the "media feeder", and may be involved in driver and some board related matters, IMHO

 

 

Seriously though who will be the TP? I don't care that they say there's no such role in name, someone's going to be sitting there running things.

 

Will it be Wolff? And if yes, other than it being hilarious, why not just call him that and have him have some "business" title?

 

Unless it will be Lowe...or maybe a two headed monster. Either way it has disaster written all over it.

 

Wolff is the new Pat Fry only with more exposure. Lowe is the new Brawn, without the TP title, and runs and rules everything connected with racing/sporting. It fear disaster within a year.

 

I don't get it. At this time of massive change you make a plan and keep someone like Ross Brawn in your team.

 

As I understand they have refused to let Ross stay in charge but as he has left the void they haven't moved anyone into his place. 

 

Before: Lowe and Woolf report to Brawn who reports to the board.

After: Lowe and Wolff report to the board.

 

To me it looks like either the board didn't want Brawn in the chain of command and wanted to be closer to the team or Lowe and Wolff didn't want to report to Ross.

 

I think they - the Merc board/Wolff/Lauda - got themselves in this mess last year. Wolff was courted by Lauda and Mercedes to leave Williams and join them. Wolff poached Lowe without the slightest direct information about how the Mercedes F1 team is ran by Brawn, and in what evolutionary state it was in at the time. He joined the team, and had a revelation when he had a first look into how Brawn operates, and what he built for the future. I am sure Lauda had a similar experience. Then the Lowe story got leaked, and McLaren showed the door to him at once. They had an obligation to take Lowe, so they took him, and that was the moment when the "too many cooks" story suddenly became true. Lowe had no space, all the tech department heads were better, or at least on his level of expertise, and he was after Brawn's job originally anyway. They just got stuck with Lowe. Very classic example of how castrate yourself IMHO, and it was all started by Zetsche who panicked after 2012. Instead of believing Brawn, he listened to Lauda, and the snowball started to roll.

 

Good riddance.

 

Well, if you say so.


Edited by Szoelloe, 29 November 2013 - 16:48.


#477 MaxisOne

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 17:09

I think Lowe did report to Brawn.

Wolff reported to Thomas Weber.

 

 

This is pretty accurate. Ross stated in an interview a couple months ago that he did not really like dealing with the corporate business stuff and that was previously left to Fry and Haug.  After Haug resigned and Fry was let go Wolff was the point man for the Board and Ross focused on everything else.



#478 Force Ten

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 21:37

This is pretty accurate. Ross stated in an interview a couple months ago that he did not really like dealing with the corporate business stuff and that was previously left to Fry and Haug.  After Haug resigned and Fry was let go Wolff was the point man for the Board and Ross focused on everything else.

 

Whatever happened to Nick Fry anyway? For whatever slack he got in the boards, his one and big thing was getting Ross Brawn to run the team and he probably was an okay nuts and bolts manager. Since they sold the team to Merc it is as he has disappeared off the Earth.



#479 garoidb

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 21:45

Whatever happened to Nick Fry anyway? For whatever slack he got in the boards, his one and big thing was getting Ross Brawn to run the team and he probably was an okay nuts and bolts manager. Since they sold the team to Merc it is as he has disappeared off the Earth.

 

He doesn't call, ... he doesn't write ... 



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#480 seltaeb

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 22:04

Ok, time for Ross to reform Brawn GP and re-sign Rubens and Jenson! ;)

 

I miss those white/yellow cars :(.



#481 Fastcake

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 22:25

Whatever happened to Nick Fry anyway? For whatever slack he got in the boards, his one and big thing was getting Ross Brawn to run the team and he probably was an okay nuts and bolts manager. Since they sold the team to Merc it is as he has disappeared off the Earth.

 

He was still the CEO of the team until the beginning of the year, when Wolff assumed his responsibilities. What he is doing now I know not. Probably swimming in the pile of money he made from his share of the sale. 



#482 priestlysabbath

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 03:16

Any update on where he's off too ???

#483 loki

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 03:50

I don't see how. Journalists will go to Lowe for e.g. questions about qualifying and race strategy decisions. Not Lauda. as he's not part of the decision making on those matters. I also wonder if Wolff will sit on the pitwall now. Will he have communication responsibilities during races? Unclear.

A figurehead is someone who doesn't necessarily have responsibility of the day to day operations, basically the public face of the team.  At this point no one outside of Mercedes really knows the intricacies of the structure.  I think it equally premature to assume or dismiss what particular person will be doing any specific thing.  Mercedes didn't bring Lauda in as a favor because he is a retired driver. The brought him in because of his experience in racing and general business acumen.  You can bet dollars to doughnuts that while Lauda isn't likely to be calling race strategy, he's going to have a significant voice in how the team is operated as a whole. 



#484 GS1

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 06:20

It's time to pit Witmarsh out to pasture and hire Brawn.



#485 sabjit

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 13:47

Funny the amount of people predicting the end of the world for Mercedes.

 

Reminds me of 12 months ago.



#486 CHIUNDA

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 12:31

Funny the amount of people predicting the end of the world for Mercedes.

 

Reminds me of 12 months ago.

 

If memory serves me right, this time 12 months ago, Mercedes were at the end of the world ... unless their worst placing in the WCC since their return to the sport in 2010 does not count as the end of the world.



#487 BillBald

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 12:56

If memory serves me right, this time 12 months ago, Mercedes were at the end of the world ... unless their worst placing in the WCC since their return to the sport in 2010 does not count as the end of the world.

 

Ross Brawn stopped development early on the 2012 car, to have a better car in 2013.

 

He did exactly the same thing in 2008.

 

'End of the world'  :drunk: 



#488 Amphicar

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 12:56

If memory serves me right, this time 12 months ago, Mercedes were at the end of the world ... unless their worst placing in the WCC since their return to the sport in 2010 does not count as the end of the world.

Yes their worst result in three seasons - and a whole place lower than in 2010 and 2011. If that qualifies as the end of the world, McLaren must now be eating in the restaurant at the end of the universe!



#489 sabjit

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 17:13

What I was getting at was that 12 months ago everyone predicted the end of the world for Hamilton moving to Mercedes. And people are doing so again here with the departure of Brawn.

 

There have been some very damning comments not just here but across the internet prophesizing the almost immediate decline of Mercedes. Someone even predicted a podiumless year on a Sky comments section for 2014 and most have written off Mercedes even challenging for the title next year.

 

Again, like 12 months ago, I'm the odd one out with what I am expecting to see which is Mercedes to compete as anticipated next year before the Brawn saga (as in winning dominantly) but apparently the departure of Brawn will suddenly lose them about 2 seconds a lap.

 

If you looked at the structure of Mercedes this year. I find it difficult to believe he was actually useful for anything other than politics. Hence why he left.



#490 Timstr11

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 19:09

Lauda revealed that Brawn will likely remain involved in F1 and that Brawn will continue to advise him after he leaves Mercedes.

This indicates to me that he will not return to work for another team.Gives the FIA rumors a bit more credibility.



#491 BillBald

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 19:14

What I was getting at was that 12 months ago everyone predicted the end of the world for Hamilton moving to Mercedes. And people are doing so again here with the departure of Brawn.

.

 

That is simply not true.

 

A bunch of journos and other pundits were saying that stuff, that's their bread and butter. They exaggerated the risk that Lewis was taking because it made a better story. There were lots of people on this forum, myself included, who didn't buy it. It always looked like a viable decision for Lewis to quit McLaren and join Merc.

 

Brawn leaving Merc will hurt them, I've no doubt about that, the effect may not be immediate but I would be surprised if they are not regretting it quite soon, perhaps even by the end of 2014.



#492 shonguiz

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 03:30

Wolff was not reporting to Brawn, he's the head of the entire Mercedes Motorsport division (that incldues DTM), not only the F1 team.



#493 sabjit

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 08:02

That is simply not true.

 

A bunch of journos and other pundits were saying that stuff, that's their bread and butter. They exaggerated the risk that Lewis was taking because it made a better story. There were lots of people on this forum, myself included, who didn't buy it. It always looked like a viable decision for Lewis to quit McLaren and join Merc.

 

Brawn leaving Merc will hurt them, I've no doubt about that, the effect may not be immediate but I would be surprised if they are not regretting it quite soon, perhaps even by the end of 2014.

 

Ofcourse there were a couple of wiseheads last year that didn't buy it and its the same scenario this year.

 

Mercedes short term will be fine. I don't see them simply breaking down. The effects of Brawns departure will not take effect until perhaps even 2016.

 

And then again, what if Merc is right. What if Lowe and Wolff turn out to be a dream paring and drive Mercedes into long term dominance. NOBODY, has considered that other than a small group of people.



#494 F1ultimate

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 09:58

Ross Brawn:

"Well often after qualifying, the first thing I do is check what the scores are. But I was born in Manchester, which normally means you're a City fan but when I went to school, south of England, everybody hated Manchester United so that converted me and I've followed it since,"

 "I'm going to take a break for a while and just see how things pan out, have a few months off, go and see a few more games because I don't get to see many games unfortunately, but I'll be able to manage some more games. Probably around the summer time I'll decide what's happening."

"I think if I get involved again in motor sport it will be Formula One, but I'm very open minded,"

"I mean it depends what motivates me and what people offer so we'll see what happens in the summer."

Source: http://www.planetf1....d-To-Sabbatical

 

He's clearly intent on remaining in F1. I can see him working with Mclaren and Honda and luring a driver like Alonso to join the team while retiring Button.



#495 Szoelloe

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 15:52

Ofcourse there were a couple of wiseheads last year that didn't buy it and its the same scenario this year.

 

Mercedes short term will be fine. I don't see them simply breaking down. The effects of Brawns departure will not take effect until perhaps even 2016.

 

And then again, what if Merc is right. What if Lowe and Wolff turn out to be a dream paring and drive Mercedes into long term dominance. NOBODY, has considered that other than a small group of people.

 

Of course most did. Its just not likely. They know what they lost at Mercedes:

 

"I have a very good relationship with him," said Lauda. "I am in constant contact with him.

"I hope he doesn't go too long fishing in the beginning and I cannot call him for some advice. He is, let's say, leaving in good spirits with me personally.

Merc has one shot now at a title. 2014, hope they grab it.

 

http://www.autosport...t.php/id/111697

Must be uplifting for Lowe to read, LOL.


Edited by Szoelloe, 03 December 2013 - 15:53.


#496 noikeee

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 16:00

"Probably around the summer time I'll decide what's happening."

 

That does sound like a gardening leave. Free to move somewhere in 6 months time...



#497 M2B

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 16:19

McLaren Honda.



#498 Szoelloe

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 16:41

McLaren Honda

 

The most likely choice. He was hunted the last time he went fishing on his gardening leave. If it is indeed a gardening leave, and he prefers to prolong his F1 career, who knows where he ends up? Ferrari, McLaren, Williams, even Enstone, in whichever guise?



#499 noikeee

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 16:44

 I would be astonished if Enstone has the funds to hire him!



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#500 sabjit

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 16:55

Of course most did. Its just not likely. They know what they lost at Mercedes:

 

"I have a very good relationship with him," said Lauda. "I am in constant contact with him.

"I hope he doesn't go too long fishing in the beginning and I cannot call him for some advice. He is, let's say, leaving in good spirits with me personally.

Merc has one shot now at a title. 2014, hope they grab it.

 

Niki Lauda should not be taken as the voice of Mercedes although he thinks he is. A lot of what he says is not representative of the wishes of Mercedes.

 

I still think that we should not be damming Mercedes long term future until Lowe and Wolff show us what they got. And if anyone mentions the MP4-28 then they should conmsider that Lowe probably had the Merc move in mind for a while. And he might not have had so much, so to say, 'input' on the Mclaren which is why it was slow.

 

Lowe is a competent designer and he has an incredible design team to work with. I reckon the 4 of them plus Wolff has what it takes to challenge Adrian Newey. Of course Brawn had the calibre to do that on his own. But despite his reputation I would still take those 4 brains over Brawns one.