Mercedes has remained silent in light of intensifying rumors that its technical director, Ross Brawn, is leaving the team at the end of the season. Brawn has been the central figure of the Mercedes ever since 2009 (when the team was called “Brawn GP” and won both world championships). After that championship year, the team has struggled to challenge the top teams on a consistent basis, except for this season.
Earlier this year, McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe left the team to head for Mercedes, prompting many to guess he was a potential successor to Brawn (even back then, rumors of Brawn’s exit were strong). With Lowe now firmly a feature of the Mercedes team, it seems it is only a matter of time before Brawn makes his way out of Mercedes.
The question now is, where will Brawn go? Whisper in the F1 world suggest a move to Williams is on the cards, though, in what capacity we don’t know yet. The role of technical director has been recently taken by Pat Symonds, formerly of Marussia, so technical options would be limited for Brawn, at least high-level positions.
Another option would be for Brawn to stay on at Mercedes in an ambassadorial role, promoting the brand through his vast experience and success at the team. Toto Wolff, a former shareholder at Williams who now is a sporting director at Mercedes, has a similar role, as does Formula One world champion Niki Lauda.
There are a plethora of options, all pretty similar, for Brawn to undertake should the rumors prove true at the end of the season. For now, Mercedes’ tight battle for second in the championship hinges on Brawn’s leadership. Mercedes may end up missing it in the future.