Ross Brawn tipped to be F1’s new sporting boss
New owners, Liberty Media, are keen to recruit the architect of multiple world championships into a long-term strategic role
Former Mercedes Formula 1 chief Ross Brawn is poised to take up a new job running the sport for new owners Liberty Media.
F1 Racing understands that Brawn has agreed a deal to become CEO of the sporting side of the business, liaising with the teams and the FIA on shaping the future of F1. This encompasses part of the responsibilities currently undertaken by Bernie Ecclestone through his involvement with the Strategy Group of leading teams and the FIA.
But the commercial side of Ecclestone’s role, signing race deals and television companies and securing sponsorship for the sport in areas such as circuit signage, is expected to be undertaken by a separate chief commercial ofcer.
Leading F1 commercial player Zak Brown has been strongly linked to that role, although he is also of interest to McLaren, while they seek a replacement for chairman Ron Dennis (see p14).
Brawn’s position has not been ofcially conrmed, and he has not signed anything yet, but F1 Racing has learned that the deal has already been agreed and it is only a matter of time before it is ofcially announced. The 61-year-old, who won Formula 1 championships with his own team, Brawn GP, as well as with Ferrari and Benetton, over a 30-year career in the sport, as well as laying the foundations for Mercedes’ current success, has indicated that this is exactly the sort of role that could tempt him back into the sport.
“I wouldn’t want to go back to Formula 1 in the same capacities I’ve been in before,” Brawn told F1 Racing over the course of an interview he gave for the January 2017 issue. “I’ve done all that. I would feel that I was doing it because I’d got nothing else to do, rather than trying to create something new.
“But as I said when I left, ‘Never say never.’ There are changes afoot, so I’ll watch with interest and see what happens.
“The new owners are going to proceed cautiously, and they will need to establish exactly what sort of a role Bernie Ecclestone will full over the next few years, and how he is going to hand over the baton – if he ever does.
“From my perspective as an observer over the past three years, I’ve been able to see F1 in a very different way from when I was operating within it as a competitor.”