Ross Brawn talked the British F1 media this afternoon and says that he intends to be with the team for a long time to come.
“I know all the plans for the future of the team,” he said, “and I hope I am going to be a part of them for a very long time. I think we are entering a really exciting period. Lewis joining us a massive catalyst for us all, massive incentive, motivation, but I think I am seeing the maturity of the changes we made 12 months ago. The 2013 car has been project led by Aldo (Costa) and he has done a fantastic job and I am really exited by that. Like anyone of us in life if we are excited by what we are doing we carry on doing it. We have set ourselves some tough tasks over the winter and we are meeting them. A lot of things are behind us and we are going to gain the benefits of the initiatives and investments we have made.”
Brawn said that Mercedes wants a long-term commitment from him.
“Obviously I want to see how things go before I make a final longterm commitment. We have to have things in place. It was rather like my succession plan at Ferrari I was part of that. I have talked to Paddy. We know the situation. I am planning on being here for a very long time.”
Brawn said that it made no difference that he no longer has shares in the team.
“I made the decision to sell the teams to Mercedes because I am not an entrepreneur. I am a racer. I want to go racing. I made that decision because I believe Mercedes were the right people to have the team in the future. I think you can see that in the investment in a driver like Lewis and the facilities here. These changes are very difficult to do as a privately-financed team. I want to go racing at the very top with all the facilities and the best drivers. All that is needed. Even though Brawn GP was a good experience it was not going to have the capacity to do that in the future. It matters little to me that Toto (Wolff) is a shareholder. What matters is that Toto has the same vision.”
Brawn said that he is still in charge.
“I am the team principal. I am in charge of sporting, technical and racing matters,” he said. “There is another side of the business that I don’t want to get involved with on a day to day basis. A lot of things that Toto will be doing which are complementary to what I am doing.”
Brawn said that it was “disappointing” that the stories have got into the media because they might have the effect of disturbing the team.
“I want our giys focused to do the best job they can for the season,” he said. “There is a huge buzz and that is what we want to manitian. But these are distractions. I have to do the best to stop them being distracted.”
Brawn said that hwne he left Ferrari he felt that his motivation had started to wane, but that is not the case now.
“I don’t feel it is the time to stop,” he said.
He said that the team’s failure in 2012 was to not maintain the rate of development and to take a wrong decision about looking into the exhaust aerodynamics without having the tools needed to understand it.
He added that the big challenge in 2013 will be to get the car competitive, while at the same time getting ready for the big changes that will come in 2014. He said that Aldo Costa is in charge of the 2013 car and that Geoff Willis is leading the design team for 2014.