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Loss of trust reason for Brawn's Mercedes departure

NEWS STORY
19/10/2016

Ross Brawn has revealed that a lack of trust led him to walk out on Mercedes in 2013.

The Briton, who had sold his eponymous title winning team to Mercedes in 2010, continued to steer the Brackley-based outfit through to 2013, reuniting him with Michael Schumacher with whom he won countless titles at both Benetton and Ferrari.

However, in a surprise move the Briton left the German team on the eve of the new formula, a formula which saw Mercedes become the benchmark as it took the drivers' and constructors' titles for three successive seasons.

Explaining his surprise decision in Total Competition, a new book co-authored with Adam Parr, Brawn reveals that it was his lack of trust in newcomers Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda that spurred the move.

"What happened at Mercedes is that people were imposed on me who I couldn't trust," he admits. "I never really knew what they were trying to do. I mean Niki would tell me one thing, then I would hear he was saying something else.

"I was beginning to deal with people who I didn't feel I could ultimately trust," he continues, "people within the team, who had let me down already in terms of their approach.

"Then in early 2013, I discovered Paddy Lowe had been contracted to join the team and it had been signed off in Stuttgart. When I challenged Toto and Niki, they blamed each other. I met them to have it out with them. And they both pointed to each other.

"I couldn't trust this people, so I saw no future unless I was willing to go to war and remove them. I saw no future with people that I didn't feel I could trust."

The Briton admits he had never before found himself in such a divisive situation.

"I have never faced that and maybe I just didn't feel passionately enough about the whole project to want to go through that grief."

Also, he fails to understand why Wolff and Lauda became shareholders, the former holding a 30% stake in the team and the latter 10%.

"I think one complication in all of that was Toto and Niki became shareholders, which was an interesting decision by Mercedes. I never really understood it.

"Their view was that they wanted management who were committed and I think they also took a view that by being shareholders they would gain greater respect from the team.

"That they partly own the team, so by coming in and being a shareholder they were putting their money where their mouth was. That's what they hoped."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by vectis, 19/10/2016 19:30

"how right ross was ; notice how paddy was to have equal status with toto ...that didn't last long
and does ANYONE have confidence in anything that lauda says anymore ?
I would think that hamilton already has his eyes open for somewhere more trustworthy when his contract runs out "

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2. Posted by VC10-1103, 19/10/2016 16:09

"Colin Chapman? - You Started It"

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3. Posted by You Started It!!, 19/10/2016 11:53

"Brawn and Schumacher are F1's greatest losses; they understood everything, they were F1"

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