Two for the Road is a hangout for mystery writers Tammy Kaehler and Simon Wood to chat, reminisce, gossip, speculate and argue about all things motorsport.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Losing Control

By Simon

The interesting bit of F1 news over the last couple of weeks has been the developments surrounding Ross Brawn at Mercedes—namely that Mercedes were debating whether to replace him as team principal. This might not sound like much until you consider that Brawn created the team. Before Mercedes F1 was born, it was Brawn GP (although you could argue that the team’s origins belonged to Honda before that). However, Mercedes gobbled up Brawn GP after they won the world title.

So it has to be an odd feeling to see something that you built from the ground up is potentially being taken away from you. Okay, when Mercedes came knocking with a big check in hand, Brawn and his partners did take it, so you can argue that he put himself in this vulnerable possible where he effectively went from boss to employee. Still, it has to suck to lose control of your team, as it were.

I can see why Brawn has been living under one of Mercedes’ silver arrows for awhile. Since the takeover, the team has declined in both results and performance. Nobody is in F1 for the fun of it so I can see why Mercedes want changes. I do think that if the Mercedes team has another mediocre year this year, I think Brawn will be out.

Should that situation arise, I don’t think Ross Brawn will be short of job offers, however it’ll be weird for him to wander down pit lane and see someone else running your creation. I suppose the truth of motor racing is that you're trying to keep control of your environment under extreme conditions and if you don’t, you're finished—and that applies on and off the track.

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