Ross Brawn tipped to be F1’s new sport­ing boss

F1 Racing - - F1 INSIDER -

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 ofcer.

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 ofcially conrmed, 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 ofcially 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 full 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.”

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