Ross Brawn announces he is ‘stepping back in Formula 1’

Ross Brawn previously managed Ferrari and Mercedes before rejoining the sport in 2017 following a spell of retirement.

Having returned to Formula 1 in 2017 as the championship’s managing director, the incredibly popular Ross Brawn has announced that it’s finally time to “step back” from the series.

The 67-year-old who is most famous for being Ferrari’s boss during Michael Schumacher’s dominant years, and also for founding Brawn GP, believes now is the time to relinquish his demanding role.

Brawn joined Formula 1 in 1978 with Williams, before going off to work for several teams, which included a stint away from the championship with Jaguar.

The Brit returned in 1991 as Benetton’s technical director, before moving to Ferrari in the same role from 1997-2006.

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He was famously dubbed the “mastermind” by Schumacher, with the German putting a lot of his glory down to the leadership of Brawn.

When Schumacher retired from the sport, Brawn moved to Honda as their team principal, before buying out the team at the end of 2008 after the Japanese team decided to leave the sport.

The newly founded team was named Brawn GP and famously won both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship in their debut season.

The team only lasted a season, after being bought by the team now known fairly well as Mercedes, who are, of course, one of the leading sides in the championship.

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Brawn remained with Mercedes until the end of 2013, following a disagreement with the team’s hierarchy over his role.

He subsequently decided to retire; however, this ended up being short-lived.

Brawn was brought back into the championship by Liberty Media in 2017 as the sport’s managing director, a role he is set to step back from at the end of the season.

The 67-year-old has decided that with everything going on in the world, now is the time to go home to his family and “take care of my children and grandchildren”.  

“Life is more about survival right now,” the Briton told Sport1.

“Due to the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, it was and is not that easy for everyone. That’s why I’m stepping back in Formula 1.

“I want to cut back significantly, let’s put it that way,” he admits.

“I will continue to be available with my expertise, but I will no longer be responsible for one area every day. That means I will take care of my children and grandchildren more, go fishing more and take care of my garden.”

Brawn has enjoyed his role with Liberty Media, where he admitted that it’s less pressurising than being on the pit wall.

The former Ferrari boss has been a keen backer of getting more women watching the championship, something he’s proud to have achieved.

“Today, I enjoy helping to generate new fans. For example, we have more female followers than before,” he added.

The soon-to-be retired managing director played a leading role in the introduction of the new aerodynamic regulations this season, which has seen cars running much closer together.

The new regs have “worked out” according to Brawn, who is adamant that Mercedes will sort out the issues they’ve faced.

“The cars can race closer together and overtake more easily,” said Brawn.

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“So it’s all worked out fine.

“The fact that some teams adapted to the rules better while others are more upset is Formula 1 folklore. We knew it would be like that,” he added.

“It particularly affected Mercedes but they’re not idiots. They’ll figure it out.”