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Musical chairs with Mercedes management // Who will be left seated when the music stops?

Published by Christine Blachford

The headlines surrounding Mercedes seem to be snowballing as we head rapidly towards the launch of their new car, and they are not all necessarily for the better.

With Lewis Hamilton celebrating his first day at the factory, and Toto Wolff's announcement that he's now an Executive Director, comes the news that Ross Brawn and Nick Fry could be heading for the exit.

Now, I'll be honest and admit that I'd forgotten Nick Fry was even part of the team, he's been so quiet in terms of Formula One over the past few years. However, Ross Brawn has been the Team Principal since the outfit was bought by Mercedes, and he remains a popular (and visible) figure within the paddock. The news that he could be ousted in favour of a big management reshuffle does raise some significant concerns.

The Lowe down

It all started with Niki Lauda, who joined the Mercedes team in an advisory capacity in September last year. He became a non-Executive Chairman of the Board, and was in line to give his words of wisdom about the structure of the team. Lauda played a significant role in bringing Lewis Hamilton on board, convincing the young Brit that he needed this new challenge, and that the team would be magnificent with Ross Brawn in charge. Awkward.

Shortly before Christmas, Mercedes confirmed that Norbert Haug would be leaving his position as Head of Motorsport for the brand, in what was described as a mutual decision. There were no pointed fingers, and no reasons given for his departure, but it seemed that a change was on the cards due to the lack of results over the three years the team have been in the sport.

In more recent news, Toto Wolff ditched what appeared to be a succession plan at Williams that would have put him at the very top of the pile, to take up a similar role at Mercedes instead. Finally to bring us right up to date, this afternoon, Eddie Jordan went on record to say that Mercedes plan to tempt Paddy Lowe from his position as Technical Director at McLaren, and pair him with Wolff to take the helm of the team.

Paddy Lowe is going to Mercedes and it would appear that Brawn and Fry are on their way out, and Lowe will be there in a very senior capacity. Lowe won't be technical director; he'll be more senior than that. But he won't be called team principal either because that will be Wolff. But Lowe will effectively be running the team on a day-to-day basis.

- Eddie Jordan

I am not one for listening to anything Jordan has to say if I can help it, but the man has had an inside track to the machinations at Mercedes for several years now. He was on the money when it came to Michael Schumacher's big comeback, and he detailed Lewis Hamilton's surprising move while everyone else thought he was crazy.

Wolff hunting

It seems like a harsh move on the part of Mercedes to oust Brawn, who has some excellent title-winning credentials under his belt. He's known as a fantastic strategist, and he kept the "dream team" together when they could so easily have crumbled, before going on to take the world title with Brawn GP in 2009. However, since then, Mercedes haven't exactly shone, and their single victory in 2012 would suggest things are ripe for a bit of a shake-up.

This could all be worries about nothing, as there has yet to be any confirmation from any of the parties involved. Toto Wolff took part in a press call today, that had been scheduled before any of this blew up, and was presumably supposed to be about his move only.

The questions flooded in on what the plans were for the future of Mercedes management. Toto got his shields up, pretty quickly.

I can see the speculation that is coming up, but I think I would be aware of that. Ross is there and Ross is part of the leading team and I hope Ross is going to stay. This is the current situation. If you look at Ross's track record, it's fantastic.

- Toto Wolff

And then he quickly pointed in the other direction, and started to talk about whether Kubica could ever make an F1 comeback. At this point, we don't know what is going on at Mercedes, but it sounds like things are going to change. On some level they need to, but the manufacturer is running the risk of taking things a step too far, especially given Lauda's previous track record in this area.

Right now, Hamilton must be wondering what in the world he's signed up to.




  • I really hope Mercedes hold onto Ross as I think he's necessary to keeping a bit of stabilisation in a team that feels awfully over-cooked with fairly significant names in F1. even more so if they end up bringing Lauda in near the Team Principal role which would be madness... not sure that'll happen though...

    Also, just throwing this out there... does anyone see a bit of Jean Todt in Toto Wolff? I mean, bit of experience doing motorsport here and there but the guy seems really astute in focusing the business side of motorsport much like Jean was at Peugeot. Just get the same kind of vibe from him. Wolff will be a big loss to Williams too!

  • Looks like I have a different view on this. I could not see the logic in Lewis Hamilton going to Mercedes unless there was going to be a huge shake up and that had to include the ousting of Brawn for me. Brawn has done almost nothing noteworthy since he parted company with Ferrari. He did manage to win a championship while the team bore his name but that car had more money spent on it than any other car in history yet by mid-season it had lost almost all of its advantage over the competition. He made a load of money selling the team too. Other than that he has achieved nothing.

    The team has been distinctly average and has shown no real ambition. If you look at the history of Mercedes in top level motor racing you will see that it has won and dominated. It is so far from doing that now it is ridiculous. When Hitler decided to use motor racing to demonstrate the superiority of Nazi technology before WW2 they won the European championship every year except one when Bernd Rosemeyer won for Auto Union. Mercedes responded by changing the structure of their racing department and put Rudi Uhlenhaut in charge of technical matters no-one saw them again for the next few seasons till the war started.

    Post war they entered the world championship in 1954 and 1955 again with Uhlenhaut cars and the cleaned up in both championships. At the same time they dominated sportscar racing on tracks and in the major road races. They would probably have continued in that vein but for Pierre Levegh's Mercedes launching over the back of another car, going into the crowd and killing almost a hundred people. At the end of that season Mercedes withdrew from all motor sport.

    With that history it is a safe bet that the top people in Stutgart are less than happy with the results they have had so far. One race win in 3 seasons is a very poor return on their investment when you consider that they bought the team that had just won both championships.

    Lauda is a straight talker and exactly what Mercedes (corporate) needs. The last thing they need is someone who is on message and trying to justify poor results and spin a story of how it will be fine next season. If Lauda thinks that someone is no good or something needs to be changed he will tell them in single syllable words. Wolff will presumably be running the business day to day while Paddy Lowe will run the team.

    That seems like a really good set up and will probably look even better when the next level appointments follow. So I have no doubt that Mercedes are following the right path.

    From Lewis Hamilton's point of view he has completely undermined Nico Rosberg's position. Rosberg has spent 3? years building relationships with the Haug, Brawn and Fry and no doubt planned to use that to his advantage. He knows he is going to be in a difficult position going up against Hamilton and now his one ace has been torn up in front of him. Lewis Hamilton feeling completely at home is something Mercedes definitely want considering what they are spending on him and how much they want him to win.

  • So if I'm reading this right:

    Mercedes are becoming the Man City of F1 by buying out all the good technical and directorial staff they can get. I'd expect a championship in about two years then.

  • Mercedes are becoming the Man City of F1 by buying out all the good technical and directorial staff they can get. I'd expect a championship in about two years then.

    Really? If Brawn and Fry go along with Haug that is 3 out. Lauda, Wolff and Lowe is 3 in. Net change = zero.

    All they have done is replaced people who have delivered poor results with people who they expect to deliver better results.

  • Lauda is a straight talker and exactly what Mercedes (corporate) needs.

    as christine mentioned. lauda tried his best at jaguar and ballsed it right up. i can't see the appeal of bringing in lauda and wolff, neither of which appear to have any talent for running an f1 tea, yet dropping brawn.

    ross was hamstrung by mercedes' desire to steal the schumacher marketing machine away from ferrari. he finally got shot of the old slow-coach and now he's not got a team either? that doesn't seem right.

  • Mercedes are becoming the Man City of F1 by buying out all the good technical and directorial staff they can get. I'd expect a championship in about two years then.

    define good? lowe is about the only decent thing they're adding to the mix and even he appears to have an option to stay where he is.

  • Really? If Brawn and Fry go along with Haug that is 3 out. Lauda, Wolff and Lowe is 3 in. Net change = zero.

    That's the thing. While I see exactly where you're coming from in terms of Ross' results and why he'd need to be let go, what's the point of replacing a duopoly (Brawn-Haug) with a triumvirate (Lauda-Wolff-Lowe)? If anything, I think that just muddles up the leadership structure even more than it was before - and that's before you go to the technical designer glut they have there. If they were going to do a reshuffle, fair enough. But couldn't they just have stuck to one person (Lowe is the best of the 3 for me) to have full control of the team?

    I really hope Mercedes hold onto Ross as I think he's necessary to keeping a bit of stabilisation in a team that feels awfully over-cooked with fairly significant names in F1. even more so if they end up bringing Lauda in near the Team Principal role which would be madness... not sure that'll happen though...

    Here’s my wild theory: Paddy Lowe turned down a team principal position at Williams to (potentially) join Mercedes. With Lowe out of the picture and Wolff gone, Frank Williams has a big gaping hole in his senior management (and, let’s face it, succession plan). Now, look who may well end up on the team principal market: Ross Brawn. So… Ross Brawn as Williams team principal?

  • From Lewis Hamilton's point of view he has completely undermined Nico Rosberg's position.

    great, that'll move him up a whole spot on the grid.

  • But couldn't they just have stuck to one person (Lowe is the best of the 3 for me) to have full control of the team?

    i'd agree with that.

    Here’s my wild theory: Paddy Lowe turned down a team principal position at Williams to (potentially) join Mercedes.

    i remember the last time a mclaren man tried to move to brackley. if you ignore the multi-million pound fine, it worked out just fine. oddly, that man's now at williams.

  • i remember the last time a mclaren man tried to move to brackley. if you ignore the multi-million pound fine, it worked out just fine. oddly, that man's now at williams.

    Well, it worked out fine... for Ferrari. For McLaren and Honda... not so much. ;)

  • as christine mentioned. lauda tried his best at jaguar and ballsed it right up. i can't see the appeal of bringing in lauda and wolff, neither of which appear to have any talent for running an f1 tea, yet dropping brawn.

    Jaguar was hamstrung by Ford. Lauda had a big rant about how stupid the Ford system was. He had the expenses claim system explained to him and there were all sorts of stupid rules. Under different circumstances you were either allowed to claim for bottled water or not. When he left the team someone was sent from Detroit to sort things out. THe first thing they asked was to see his expenses claims. They almost fell off their chairs when they were told that he had never claimed expenses. Ford like Toyota and Honda were hamstrung by the fact they would not let the people who knew what they were doing run the teams rather than having them hamstrung by corporate nonsense.

    That's the thing. While I see exactly where you're coming from in terms of Ross' results and why he'd need to be let go, what's the point of replacing a duopoly (Brawn-Haug) with a triumvirate (Lauda-Wolff-Lowe)? If anything, I think that just muddles up the leadership structure even more than it was before - and that's before you go to the technical designer glut they have there. If they were going to do a reshuffle, fair enough. But couldn't they just have stuck to one person (Lowe is the best of the 3 for me) to have full control of the team?

    They are also replacing Fry as far as we can see. I am sure the technical director glut will be dealt with. Paddy Lowe will want his own people and systems. I expect over the next year that there will be a lot of changes. I would also expect quite a few in the next couple of months so that they can get in on the ground floor with next year's car. They need to give Lewis a competitive car in 2014 or he will start looking for a new team for 2016.

    great, that'll move him up a whole spot on the grid.

    It means he is immediately the focus for the team and he no longer has to go through the phase of trying to gel with the people at the top. From day 1 he is dealing with someone who knows him and knows how to work with him. That is the difference between them understanding him at the first test and taking half a season to do it. That makes a huge difference to next year's car.

  • Ford like Toyota and Honda were hamstrung by the fact they would not let the people who knew what they were doing run the teams rather than having them hamstrung by corporate nonsense.

    okay. but now he's at mercedes. are they going to be any different?

    That is the difference between them understanding him at the first test and taking half a season to do it. That makes a huge difference to next year's car.

    i get it, jb had to take that route at mclaren. i just wasn't expecting it to be any other way with lewis at merc. he's their #1 no question, i doubt he would've signed if that wasn't stipulated somewhere (subtly).

  • okay. but now he's at mercedes. are they going to be any different?

    I haven't read anything in the whole time they have been back in F1 that has suggested that there is corporate interference. The other thing is unlike the others Mercedes have a history of running teams in top level racing. Even when they were running teams from the factory they were pretty autonomous.

    i get it, jb had to take that route at mclaren. i just wasn't expecting it to be any other way with lewis at merc. he's their #1 no question, i doubt he would've signed if that wasn't stipulated somewhere (subtly).

    I have no doubt that he is a clear number one but there is a big difference having that status in a team where he has never worked with anyone (apart from Haug) and being in that situation with people he knows, trusts and can work with. I am sure when Alonso signed for McLaren there was some subtle implication that he would be number one and Lewis would be learning from him.

  • The other thing is unlike the others Mercedes have a history of running teams in top level racing. Even when they were running teams from the factory they were pretty autonomous.

    fair enough. i wouldn't trust lauda to deliver a pizza, let alone a championship. still if merc don't interfere, he'll have to think up some other reason for failure :)

  • fair enough. i wouldn't trust lauda to deliver a pizza, let alone a championship. still if merc don't interfere, he'll have to think up some other reason for failure :)

    He has a non-exec position where Toto Wolff is Exxec Director so he will be the one who carries the can for the performance of the company. Paddy Lowe will no doubt carry the can for the performance of the team.

  • All the excitement at the time of Lewis' announcement was how he and Brawn were looking forward to working together. Maybe it will be better for him to have familiar personnel in the team but then again, he needed that break from the team before he really had a meltdown (and not just on Twitter).

    Leaving McLaren to work with people from McLaren doesn't seem like the fresh challenge he had hailed this as.

  • They are also replacing Fry as far as we can see. I am sure the technical director glut will be dealt with. Paddy Lowe will want his own people and systems. I expect over the next year that there will be a lot of changes. I would also expect quite a few in the next couple of months so that they can get in on the ground floor with next year's car. They need to give Lewis a competitive car in 2014 or he will start looking for a new team for 2016.

    I don't think Lewis can wait until 2016 if they aren't competitive by 2014. He might be gone as early as 2015.

    Nick Fry is a curious case. What exactly is he still doing at Brackley? It's like he's been hidden out of sight since Ross came in - and that's 5 years ago now. He's almost like the Yeti, really.

  • All the excitement at the time of Lewis' announcement was how he and Brawn were looking forward to working together. Maybe it will be better for him to have familiar personnel in the team but then again, he needed that break from the team before he really had a meltdown (and not just on Twitter).

    Leaving McLaren to work with people from McLaren doesn't seem like the fresh challenge he had hailed this as.

    If Lewis as I suspect knew that there were plans to replace people like Brawn he could hardly say anything other than he was looking forward to working with them. You can imagine the result if some journalist asked him if he was looking forward to working with Brawn and he had said anything else.

    I think there is a big difference between working with a few of his favourite people from McLaren and working within that team. Schumacher got deservedly great credit for going to Ferrari and turning them round completely but he was not daft enough to turn up on his own. He took Brawn, Rory Byrne, Nigel Stepney etc etc. He put his own team inside Ferrari and built from that. It looks like Lewis is doing the same thing.

    I don't think Lewis can wait until 2016 if they aren't competitive by 2014. He might be gone as early as 2015.

    The way I was looking at it is that he has a 3 year contract. Year one he can afford not to be challenging for the title. Year two he has to see serious progress and have a car that is very close to the front or he is going to be looking for a team to move to after then end of his contract which could compromise year three performance.

  • If Lewis as I suspect knew that there were plans to replace people like Brawn he could hardly say anything other than he was looking forward to working with them.

    what? c'mon, how naive are you.

    i am prepared to believe a lot of things, but you are in no way convincing me this is a nine month plan just waiting to be executed. nobody with any sense makes sweeping management changes a week before they debut a new car.

    lewis is likely as confused as anyone. #masterplanmyarse

  • Leaving McLaren to work with people from McLaren doesn't seem like the fresh challenge he had hailed this as.

    good point.

  • lewis is likely as confused as anyone. #masterplanmyarse

    All this makes me wonder: who DID Lewis negotiate with at Mercedes? Yes, Niki Lauda facilitated the transfer, but who committed to Lewis on Mercedes' end? Was it Brawn, Haug, or Zetsche? If Lewis (and Didier Coton) was smart enough, he would've negotiated this on Zetsche's level (in the same way Schumacher agreed his transfer to Ferrari with Gianni Agnelli himself). Otherwise, he'd end up being pretty lost in the woods politically. It's not a fatal blow to Lewis' chances with Mercedes - he'll drive the wheels off whatever car Mercedes give him. But it doesn't help his chances in driving through the changes he might want to see in the team.

  • All this makes me wonder: who DID Lewis negotiate with at Mercedes?

    good question. wouldn't fuller have been doing all that? lauda just appealed to hamilton's sense of awe and adventure.

  • good question. wouldn't fuller have been doing all that? lauda just appealed to hamilton's sense of awe and adventure.

    Simon Fuller would probably have had a key role, but it's Didier Coton who has the experience in these things, so I suspect they negotiated as a team on Lewis' behalf.

  • from joe: "At the moment no-one is confirming anything, perhaps because they are still trying to sort it all out…"

    joesaward.wordpre…ry-of-paddy-lowe/

  • i am prepared to believe a lot of things, but you are in no way convincing me this is a nine month plan just waiting to be executed. nobody with any sense makes sweeping management changes a week before they debut a new car.

    Seems eminently sensible to me. Don't cause any upset until the new car is ready then immediately make changes before you start the next and at the same time have a clear out before the end of the financial year. The alternative is they signed Lewis and changed the whole team to annoy him. Considering he is rumoured to be on $75 million for 3 seasons that is an expensive gamble.

    Besides look how long it took Shumacher to get his people to Ferrari and he obviously agreed that with Agnelli, Todt and Luca before he signed. Some of them took a year to make the switch.

    All this makes me wonder: who DID Lewis negotiate with at Mercedes?

    Considering the sums involved it would need to be the main board of Mercedes. There is no way Haug or Brawn had $75 million in their budget for a driver.

  • Besides look how long it took Shumacher to get his people to Ferrari and he obviously agreed that with Agnelli, Todt and Luca before he signed. Some of them took a year to make the switch.

    hamilton isn't as smart as schumacher though.

    at least not michael, perhaps he's on par with ralf.

    the guy almost didn't even move to mercedes, apparently getting cold feet right before the move. there's no over-arching bond-villain master plan here. he's at mercedes because simon fuller can market him as the next david beckham.

  • hamilton isn't as smart as schumacher though.

    Maybe he is and maybe he is not. Schumacher wanted to turn down a move to Benetton from Jordan because the negotiations were taking too long. It was all done in one night. Bernie told him to shut up and go to bed and when he woke he would be a Benetton driver.

    Schumacher surrounded himself with people like Willi Weber to make sure he made good decisions. Lewis did the same. People criticise his link to Simon Fuller but Fuller was smart enough to bring in Didier Coton. I am quite certain Coton could pull together a deal that re-built Mercedes round Hamilton.

    These drivers don't need to be geniuses they just need to associate themselves with people who can put them in a position to win and make bucketloads of money. To me it is inconceivable that Hamilton signed up for the Merc team as it was and all the decisions to change happened after he signed. I am sure if you can find the thread announcing his move you will find a comment from me saying that if he was going to Merc he must know about major changes that we don't. That doesn't mean I had a Bond villain masterplan. It was just obvious that there was no sense in going into a failing team and thinking that he sixth tenths was going to turn them into winners.

  • I am sure if you can find the thread announcing his move you will find a comment from me saying that if he was going to Merc he must know about major changes that we don't.

    What do you mean if? There's a handy search box in the top right corner!! We can't make it any easier.

    This is the closest you got, I think. sidepodcast.com/p…n#comment-3081043

  • People criticise his link to Simon Fuller but Fuller was smart enough to bring in Didier Coton.

    fuler masterminded earthdreams. people criticise with good reason.

  • What do you mean if? There's a handy search box in the top right corner!! We can't make it any easier.

    My apologies if the way I phrased it led anyone to believe that finding things on sidepodcast was other than incredibly simple.

  • My apologies if the way I phrased it led anyone to believe that finding things on sidepodcast was other than incredibly simple.

    :)

  • as christine mentioned. lauda tried his best at jaguar and ballsed it right up. i can't see the appeal of bringing in lauda and wolff, neither of which appear to have any talent for running an f1 tea, yet dropping brawn.

    Failed at Jaguar, failed at TWO airlines. Lauda is toxic.

    I was disappointed old Norby went out the way he did, he did so much good work over the years in all Mercedes different programs, remembering he wasn't just the F1 figurehead he oversaw the DTM and F3 programs and going back further, Le Mans and even CART. He finally gets them an F1 team, and their short-term failure (or maybe more accurately their reversion to type akin to the underwhelming BAR/Honda years) has cost him his job.

    I can't speak for Wolff's credentials other than he owns HWA which does all the engines for Mercedes in DTM and (I think) F3. I don't know if he's just chief shareholder or if he's more involved than that.

    MercedesGP have got a huge leak. Who is it sending this stuff to Jordan and the others?

  • Frank Williams has a big gaping hole in his senior management (and, let’s face it, succession plan). Now, look who may well end up on the team principal market: Ross Brawn. So… Ross Brawn as Williams team principal?

    I can't think of a better fit, and that's viewed from either perspective.

  • My take.

    This is clearly the Mercedes board acting like a Premier League team owner. When the team fails, blame the manager.

    Having said that, Ross Brawn's successes have always been as a technical director - he never really wanted to be a team principal. I don't think he has succeeded at all at Mercedes - they should have done better with the resources at their disposal and as the boss, rightly or wrongly, he ends up being the fall guy.

    Niki Lauda may have been an excellent driver but he's not a great leader. Toto Wolff is only there because money talks, and I fail to see how he knows better. But that's Mercedes' mistake to make and the major car companies always fail in F1 because they think they know better.

    fuler masterminded earthdreams. people criticise with good reason.

    Just as we shouldn't judge Ross Brawn by his past successes at Ferrari for his performance at Mercedes, we shouldn't write off Simon Fuller for buying into Greenwashing (which was very prevalent at the time, and has thankfully died down a bit IMO).

    Leaving McLaren to work with people from McLaren doesn't seem like the fresh challenge he had hailed this as.

    This is odd, unless he is doing a Schumacher and bringing his guys with him. That said, I view 2012 as a big failure for McLaren in that they dropped so many points with all the technical issues they had.

    hamilton isn't as smart as schumacher though.

    "Lewis Hamilton is not a thinker, Lewis Hamilton is a driver..."

  • "Lewis Hamilton is not a thinker, Lewis Hamilton is a driver..."

    :) :)

  • Having said that, Ross Brawn's successes have always been as a technical director - he never really wanted to be a team principal.

    He left Ferrari because they wouldn't give him the team principal position. Looks like they made a better decision than I thought at the time.

    He was never really a technical director at Ferrari even though he had that title. Rory Byrne headed up the car design and development and should have had that title. Brawn was more like a team principal in many ways because his role covered many aspects of the team and not just technical.

  • He was never really a technical director at Ferrari even though he had that title. Rory Byrne headed up the car design and development and should have had that title. Brawn was more like a team principal in many ways because his role covered many aspects of the team and not just technical.

    Fair enough. So how does his role at Brackley differ from that at Ferrari then? The question is, why didn't everything click? Was the value there the team of Brawn/Byrne then?

  • Fair enough. So how does his role at Brackley differ from that at Ferrari then? The question is, why didn't everything click? Was the value there the team of Brawn/Byrne then?

    it did click. in 2009. before mercedes went all mental and attempted to create team germany.

  • it did click. in 2009. before mercedes went all mental and attempted to create team germany.

    Yes that is true. See what happens when manufacturers get involved?

    It would be much better if the teams made the chassis and the manufacturers made the engines, in my opinion.

  • It would be much better if the teams made the chassis and the manufacturers made the engines, in my opinion.

    reckon that'll happen once this new mercedes plan fails :)

  • reckon that'll happen once this new mercedes plan fails :)

    Maybe Toto Wolff has seen this and has sown the seeds for a power play. Apparently before Williams, he wanted to buy Toro Rosso and run customer McLarens.

    I could see an HWA-F1 team powered by Mercedes in the near future if it all falls apart with Wolff at the helm, and Hamilton as the lead driver.

    Or... the return of the Wolf(f) Racing name as a constructor ;)

  • brawn says he's staying... alongside paddy. hope they have enough offices.

    "It's rather like my succession plan at Ferrari. When I decided I was going to stop at Ferrari, we built a succession plan and I am part of that. I've talked to Paddy, we know the situation. I'm planning on being here a very long time."

    www.bbc.co.uk/spo…thletics/21183238

  • I could see an HWA-F1 team powered by Mercedes in the near future if it all falls apart with Wolff at the helm, and Hamilton as the lead driver.

    but mclaren would surely be the favoured mercedes powered team again?

  • Fair enough. So how does his role at Brackley differ from that at Ferrari then? The question is, why didn't everything click? Was the value there the team of Brawn/Byrne then?

    The value at Ferrari was they had a team of people who all worked well together and Jean Todt acted as a buffer between the team and the company. At Brackley Haug had the Todt role but he was a company man with no experience of running a team.

    it did click. in 2009. before mercedes went all mental and attempted to create team germany.

    It clicked because Honda spent more money developing a car than any team in F1 ever has. A lot of the clever developments like the double diffuser originated with Super Aguri and Brackley fell heir to them.

    "It's rather like my succession plan at Ferrari. When I decided I was going to stop at Ferrari, we built a succession plan and I am part of that. I've talked to Paddy, we know the situation. I'm planning on being here a very long time."

    Surely the difference between near term replacement and succession plan is only a few months. I don't see Paddy Lowe doing a Whitmarsh and being number 2 for 20 years

  • brawn says he's staying... alongside paddy. hope they have enough offices.

    This all sounds very... I don't know, bitter? It just sounds really short in everything that's coming out from Mercedes management. Something doesn't seem right and I think there's going to be a power struggle in the near future.

    If I was Ross, what I would do is leave the team and start up my own team in F1. They could have a British driver showing his talent and leading the team to show everyone how good he really is, and possibly have some kind of Brazilian driver alongside him who's very popular with the paddock and would be perfect. It would be a brilliant idea!

    In fact, they could call it...

    ...Ross GP, with Oliver Turvey and Bruno Senna.

  • It clicked because Honda spent more money developing a car than any team in F1 ever has. A lot of the clever developments like the double diffuser originated with Super Aguri and Brackley fell heir to them.

    right. but toyota and williams had exactly the same developments (because not all super aguri people went to honda). yet neither of those teams won the world championship in 2009.

  • right. but toyota and williams had exactly the same developments (because not all super aguri people went to honda). yet neither of those teams won the world championship in 2009.

    Honda were running half a dozen wind tunnels in 2 countries with all sorts of different teams. Aside for the two F1 teams they had a Japanese group working on a separate project. Even Toyota didn't come close to blowing that amount of money. All those different projects contributed information that resulted in the car that won the championship.

  • All those different projects contributed information that resulted in the car that won the championship.

    yeah they did.

    i wonder who ordered all of that wind tunnel work, i wonder who thought it might be necessary in the first place, i wonder who managed all those resources and who pulled together all the disparate threads of data to make sense of it.

    i wonder who did all that whilst also saving a formula 1 team from oblivion, not only making sure they made the grid for the first race of the year, even though they had effectively zero practice running, but also ensuring they won it.

    if that wasn't ross brawn - who is apparently the luckiest guy on the world inheriting all that good fortune and a world championship - i'm stuffed if i know who it was.

  • I know we've already established in this thread that Lewis is apparently a big ol' liar, but today he said this: "I've been assured by Ross that his commitment is for the long term and he's here to try and win with me. That reassures me and gives me a positive feeling going forward. There are lots of great people here. I've had great experiences with Paddy but he works at McLaren as far as I'm concerned."

    It really doesn't sound like someone who had a massive masterplan!

  • I know we've already established in this thread that Lewis is apparently a big ol' liar, but today he said this: "I've been assured by Ross that his commitment is for the long term and he's here to try and win with me. That reassures me and gives me a positive feeling going forward. There are lots of great people here. I've had great experiences with Paddy but he works at McLaren as far as I'm concerned."

    I think this has to be an upper management thing. I also think Brawn won't be going anywhere, you don't get rid of him very easily unless he wants to go!

    Agree there's no way Lewis was involved beyond being convinced it was the right place to be, by whom I don't know but you have to imagine Brawn was involved too.

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