Ross Brawn made it clear today that he intends to stay on at Mercedes GP for the time being, and confirmed that he is firmly in charge – but at the same time admitted that he has yet to make a long term commitment to the company.
Brawn also in effect acknowledged that Paddy Lowe is seen by Mercedes as a potential successor, although he avoided going into too many specifics.
“I know the situation completely,” he said in a meeting with the British media. “Mercedes want a long term commitment. Obviously with a lot of additions [to the management] I want to see how things go before I make a final long term commitment.
“We have to have things in place… It’s rather like my succession plan at Ferrari. When I decided I was going to stop at Ferrari we’d built a succession plan, and I’ve been part of that. I’ve talked to Paddy, we know the situation… I’m planning on being here a very long time.”
Although he didn’t mention Niki Lauda – who has been wielding considerable influence since he came on board in October – Brawn was keen to point out that the buck stops with him. He also noted that Toto Wolff’s appointment will be a benefit.
“I am the team principal, I am in charge of sporting and technical and racing matters. Of course Toto’s coming in and there’s another side of the business that quite frankly I don’t want to get involved in.
“I don’t want to get involved in commercial activities on a day-to-day basis, I don’t want to get involved with the support we need to give Daimler on a day-to-day basis. There’s a lot of things which Toto will be doing which are complimentary to what I’m doing in terms of running the team.
“But you have to have one reference. Everybody knows that the only way a racing team will work is to have one reference. And I’m that reference.”