Ross Brawn, former technical director during Ferrari's heyday, and former team principal of Honda, Brawn GP and Mercedes, has denied reports he will step down from his role as Formula 1 managing director.
The Brit was appointed to the position by new F1 owners Liberty Media back in 2017. Brawn took on the challenge with Chase Carey, who was appointed as CEO, though the 67-year-old retired at the end of the 2020 campaign. As a result rumours began to swirl that Brawn would also take a step back, however in an exclusive interview with RacingNews365.com, the Brit has denied those suggestions.
"I'm not sure where the rumours came from. But no, I'm very excited about the challenges we face at the moment. It would have been frustrating not to be able to see the new cars," Brawn stated in reference to the new generation of Formula 1 cars he helped design that will see the light of day in 2022.
"The challenges of COVID keeps me motivated and wanting to carry on. I'll have to stop at some point in the future, we all do, but I'm not planning it at the moment."
The arrival of Stefano Domenicali as the new CEO makes Brawn's decision all the more important as it ensures some continuity at the top of Formula 1.
"With Chase taking a step back, it was useful to have some continuity and I'm glad to carry on," Brawn continued. "These are exciting times.
"My role remains the same and the range of tasks is relatively flexible. Stefano has joined and I'm probably the person who knows our organisation the best, so I've been a reference for him on any number of things. As soon as he gets to know all the people in our team, then he will undoubtedly work more closely with them."
Brawn and Domenicali are no strangers to one another having previously worked together at Ferrari, but the Brit was quick to play down its importance.
"Well, it was never a strategy," Brawn added. "It's true, we've worked together and I think that's very helpful, because we know each other's strengths. We know we can trust each other. I think the Ferrari thing is a little unfortunate in the sense that I worked for three teams after I left Ferrari: Honda, Brawn and then Mercedes. And in every case, my first priority was to beat everyone else on the grid, including Ferrari. So I never had any qualms about that."
Thus Brawn made it clear his top priority is to do what is right for Formula 1 as a whole.
"I try and do what's right for Formula 1," Brawn added. " Sometimes that suits Ferrari, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes that suits Mercedes, sometimes it doesn't. That doesn't influence the decisions we make. I think we're all the same. Stefano went and worked for Lamborghini who are Ferrari's biggest competitors, so I think we all have an affection for teams we worked for before, but we're professional enough to put that to one side."
Interview by Dieter Rencken.