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Brundle quits driver management role

NEWS STORY
07/01/2009

Driver-turned-TV pundit Martin Brundle, who was recently confirmed as a member of the BBC's F1 team, has quit his role as co-owner of 2MB, the driver management company he set up along with fellow former F1 driver Mark Blundell.

A statement issued by the Hertfordshire based company today read:

From January 2009 Mark Blundell becomes the sole owner of the 2MB Sports Management business established in 2004 with his friend, colleague, and former team mate Martin Brundle. The business, which currently manages Gary Paffett, Mike Conway and Will Stevens, will continue to operate from Mark's offices in Royston, England.

''I thank Martin for his invaluable input and I will continue to lean on his vast experience from time to time," said Blundell, who, unlike Brundle, didn't secure a role with the BBC. "I now have more time to dedicate to the business and look forward to taking on some new drivers alongside an already talented stable of young guys, the company will continue to operate under the name 2MB Sports management and look to build on the foundations already in place"

"As I move to the BBC for 2009 and beyond it is the right moment to review my future plans," said Brundle. "Given that my new TV colleague David Coulthard, who's driving contracts I negotiated for 11 seasons, has also retired from the cockpit I have decided to step back from all driver management in order to focus fully on my own career, and that of my son Alex who competes in F2 this year.

"I still have a desire to drive competitively again if the right opportunities arise," he added, "and there are also many personal and family adventures I want to explore. I have enjoyed immensely working closely with Mark and the young drivers, and I wish them all well for the future''

It's been reported that the FIA was not entirely happy with the BBC's decision to employ Brundle, with sections of the media claiming that the sport's governing body actually attempted to block the move, a claim dismissed by the FIA.

However, it should not be forgotten that following an article in the Sunday Times at the height of the McLaren spy saga, Brundle described the FIA's investigation of the Woking team as a "witch hunt".

The FIA instituted legal proceedings which were subsequently dropped, though it was 'sister' newspaper, the News of the World which exposed Max Mosley's private life just a couple of months later.

It is understood that there was concern within the industry that Brundle's position as a high profile TV commentator and driver manager, with obvious 'affinities' to certain drivers and teams, might lead to a conflict of interest. Consequently, today's news will be well received in certain quarters.

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