Ross Brawn formalizes his retirement

Ross Brawn, the general manager of F1 confirms that he is retiring at the end of this 2022 season, as was already mentioned some time ago.

The 2022 season is finally over, and Ross Brawn has published an open letter on the official F1 website to take stock, his assessment and announce that now F1 is behind him.

Ross Brawn confirms retirement

How best to describe Ross Brawn’s career? Aged 68, born in Ashton-under-Lyne (in Greater Manchester, England), he became an engineer after having spent time at the Harwell Atomic Research Establishment. He then joined motorsport via Formula 3 thanks to March Engineering in 1976. In 1978, he joined the very young Williams team before becoming its flagship aerodynamicist. In 1985, Ross Brawn tried the bet of the Team Haas USA Ltd (FORCE – Formula One Race Car Engineering) stable of Carl Haas, a short-lived adventure, the stable died out at the end of 1986.

Management at Arrows where later Tom Walkinshaw will give him his chance at TWR Jaguar in the sports-prototypes category. Ross Brawn will build a very beautiful and efficient Jaguar XJR-14 there which will lead to the drivers’ and constructors’ titles in 1991. At the end of 1991, still on the initiative of Tom Walkinshaw, he will join Benetton, to become its technical director. The single-seaters designed by Rory Byrne will seek the 1994 and 1995 titles thanks to Michael Schumacher.

So the magic trio broke up at the end of 1995, Schumacher went to Ferrari, Brawn stayed with Benetton, Byrne retired. At the end of 1996, Ross Brawn finally joined Schumacher at Ferrari, a few months later, Rory Byrne came out of retirement to join Maranello to form the Dream Team that we know. After the successes of Ferrari, at the end of 2006, Ross Brawn took a one-year break, before returning to service at Honda F1 in November 2007.

At the end of 2008, the global economic crisis caused Honda to withdraw, Ross Brawn took over the team’s assets, negotiated a Mercedes engine and set up the eponymous BrawnGP team for the 2009 season. A fairy tale, since the team signed this that year, the driver’s title with Jenson Button and the constructors’ title for its only year of existence. He will resell the structure at 75.1% to Daimler AG so that it becomes Mercedes Grand Prix. Remaining a shareholder, he finally left the ship in 2013 to deal with the takeover of the discipline by Liberty Media, which will be effective at the end of 2016.

An essential character of F1

My Formula 1 adventure is now coming to an end. I will miss the involvement I had, the camaraderie and the friendship you get in the F1 environment. I am satisfied with what we have accomplished. I think there has been a real change in the last six years since I joined the management team, and I’m happy about that. F1 is stronger today than it has ever been.

Liberty Media knew about the economics of F1, but they didn’t know much about F1 as a sport and that side of business when they started getting involved. They were smart enough to put Chase Carey in charge. Although he is not a great connoisseur of F1, he quickly understood the business and the sport.

Liberty approached me as someone with F1 experience, which they needed at the start. I was interested, but only if we could approach the development of the sport from a different angle and how to improve the race! I think we succeeded. We have built a great team and I am very happy with what we have achieved. We have set F1 on a new path.

And Ross Brawn therefore draws a definitive line on his involvement in the world of F1, after all the missions he will have had to fulfill. He decides to take a well-deserved retirement, which puts an end to speculation that sent him to replace Mattia Binotto at the head of Scuderia Ferrari.

I have loved everything I have done in recent years. I didn’t want to be part of a team anymore, I decided that I had enough! And that was the only thing that could attract me. I was very lucky that Liberty Media gave me this opportunity and it was a work of passion.

It’s the right time for me to retire. We’ve done the heavy lifting, and we’re in a period of consolidation now. There’s a new car coming in 2026, but that’s four years away, which is pretty far off for me, so it’s better for the next group of people to pick up the slack. I think I leave F1 in an incredible state.

I have loved almost every minute of my 46 year career and been lucky enough to work with great teams, great drivers and great people. I wouldn’t have changed anything. What is certain is that without the support of my wife and my family, I could not have done it and I would not have wanted to do it.

I will now watch F1 from my sofa, cheering and cursing like an F1 fan, happy that the sport is in such a fantastic situation and has such a fantastic future. Have fun shopping now!

Ross Brawn in the 2022 Dutch GP paddock

© Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images/Ross Brawn

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