Wolff ready to back Brawn and brains in F1 role

MEXICO CITY • Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has said his predecessor, Ross Brawn, would have his vote if the Briton wanted to return to Formula One in some capacity.

"He has been there forever, he has the right distance from any team after being away a couple of years," the Austrian said after the Mexican Grand Prix qualifying on Saturday.

"If I need to underwrite Ross coming back in a leadership function in Formula One, he has my vote."

Former Ferrari technical head Brawn was principal of the Honda team before taking it over when the Japanese company pulled out in 2008. He won the 2009 title with his eponymous outfit and then sold it to Mercedes and remained in charge before leaving in 2013.

Brawn recently said that he had no interest in working for a team again but indicated he could be tempted to help the sport as a whole.

"Trying to help F1 become a better F1 would be appealing. It would be the one thing that could be interesting," he told Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper in an interview published last week.

"If you ask me what F1 needs, it needs a plan; a three-year and a five-year plan. My view is we haven't got the ideal structure for creating that plan and implementing it over time."

Brawn has a book coming out in Britain on Thursday, with much made already of comments about his departure from Mercedes and how he felt a lack of trust from Wolff and non-executive chairman Niki Lauda.

Wolff, whose team have now won three constructors' championships in a row since Brawn left, said those comments had been cleared up.

"There was lots of controversy around the book he has written, and succession and transition are never easy," Wolff said. "It's a delicate matter.

"For me this is no problem, and actually we've been in touch and he has said some quite nice things about us not dropping the ball, and the relationship is intact."

Brawn, 61, has been linked to a possible role in Formula One under new owners Liberty Media - who took over the sport in September - in technical or management areas.

"Ross has huge experience, has the right personality, the technical knowledge of potentially playing an important part in Formula One going forward," said Wolff.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2016, with the headline 'Wolff ready to back Brawn and brains in F1 role'. Print Edition | Subscribe