Ross Brawn has announced he’ll give up full-time Formula 1 work at the end of the 2022 season, in what he described as a significant step back.
Brawn has been involved in F1 for over 40 years and enjoyed success with Benetton, Ferrari and Brawn GP, while he’s more recently masterminded the 2022 regulations as F1 managing director.
“I want to cut back considerably, let’s put it that way,” Brawn told German TV channel Sport 1.
“I will continue to be available with my expertise, but I will no longer be responsible for an area every day.
“That means I will take care of my children and grandchildren again, go fishing more and take care of my garden.”
Brawn‘s first big success came as technical director of Benetton between 1991 and 1996, where he oversaw a constructors’ championship and Michael Schumacher‘s first two world titles.
Particularly praised for his race strategies, Brawn followed Schumacher to Ferrari and the pair enjoyed a rampant run of success at the start of the 2000s netting five straight years where they claimed both titles.
To many, his crowning achievement was 2009 where he won another set of titles with Brawn GP, the resurrected Honda team that he purchased after the manufacturer withdrew from F1 following the 2008 financial crisis.
However, he conceded he couldn’t return to team management in modern F1.
“Definitely when you work for a team or have to lead your own, the task is so incredibly responsible, so incredibly intense,” Brawn said.
“Today, I couldn’t do that anymore. The emotions are so high, whether you win or lose. Today I enjoy helping to generate new fans. For example, we have more female supporters than before.”
A job well done?
Fans were crying out for new regulations after years of Mercedes dominance in F1, but 2021’s nail-biting title fight between Verstappen and Hamilton led some fans to reconsider whether they would improve the sport.
While this season has turned into a runaway victory for Verstappen and Red Bull, the field has been closer than most recent years.
Most importantly, overtaking has been easier as the regulations have reduced the dirty air thrown out by cars – a key aim for Brawn when drawing up the new rules.
“Basically, I’m very happy,” said Brawn. “The cars can follow each other more closely and overtake better as a result.
“Side-by-side driving has also become easier. Before, not many people know, but a car lost performance there as well.
“Pirelli have also contributed to the improvement. So everything has worked well before. The fact some teams were able to implement the new rules better and the others are upset about it is Formula 1 folklore and was planned beforehand.
“It has hit Mercedes in particular. But they are not idiots, they will get it right.”