Ross Brawn rules out Ferrari return as he confirms retirement from Formula 1

Former Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn has ruled out a return to the Maranello team, effectively confirming he will now be watching Formula 1 “from his sofa” following the end of his contract with the Formula 1 management.

After highly successful spells with teams such as Benetton, Scuderia Ferrari and his own Brawn GP team, with which he achieved outstandings results, Ross Brawn initially retired from Formula 1 eight years ago. However, he returned in 2017 when Liberty Media bought Formula 1 and offered him the role of managing director of motorsport.

The former Ferrari boss therefore oversaw the development and introduction of the new Formula 1 rules and regulation for the season that has just ended, as well as working out the details for the budget cap rules, which were introduced in 2021.

Last year, Ross Brawn hinted that he would leave his role in the Formula 1 management after the next championship, a move which he eventually confirmed. The British Formula One managing director explained that his desire is to step aside to allow a new group of individuals to develop and guide the introduction of the next major rules overhaul which is currently scheduled for the 2026 Formula 1 season:

“I’ve loved everything I’ve done in the last few years,” Ross Brawn admitted in his last column written for the Formula 1 official website – “I’d moved away from wanting to be part of a team – I decided I’d done enough of that! And this was the only thing that could have possibly appealed. I’ve been very fortunate to have been given the opportunity by Liberty and it was a labour of love. Now is the right time for me to retire. We have done the bulk of the work, and we are in a consolidation period now. There’s a new car coming in 2026, but that’s four years away, quite distant for me, so it’s better the next group of people take on that mantle. I believe I’m leaving Formula 1 in a great place. I’ve loved almost every minute of my 46-year career and I’ve been fortunate to have worked with many great teams, great drivers and great people. I wouldn’t have changed a thing. One certainty is that without my wife and family support I couldn’t have done it and I wouldn’t have wanted to do it. I will now watch F1 from my sofa, cheering and cursing as an F1 fan, pleased that the sport is in a fantastic place and has such a fantastic future.” – he added.

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The news also puts an end to any speculation regarding a possible return as team principal somewhere in the pitlane, with Scuderia Ferrari looking for a replacement for Mattia Binotto. Ross Brawn admitted that he will “miss the involvement” he had, but at the same time he believes he is retiring from the sport at the best possible moment and points out that the 2022 Formula One challengers have improved racing and achieved the aim which was set with the new rules:

“I’m pleased with where we’ve got to. I think there’s been real change in the last six years since I joined the management team – and I feel happy about that. Formula 1 today is as strong as it’s ever been. Liberty knew about the economics of F1, but they didn’t know so much about F1 as a sport and that side of the business when they first became involved. They were smart enough to put Chase Carey in charge [as F1 CEO]. Despite not being an experienced F1 veteran, he grasped the business and the sport quickly. I was approached by Liberty as someone with F1 experience, something they needed in the beginning. I was interested, but only if we could tackle the development of the sport from a different perspective – how do we improve the racing? I think we have succeeded. We’ve built a great team and I’m really pleased with what we have achieved. We’ve set F1 on a new path.”

Ross Brawn also confirmed that the cost cap was a “very significant step” for the sport and while it has “bugs to iron out”, he feels it remains a ‘fantastic’ achievement.

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