Brawn: Mercedes-Benz committed to low-cost F1

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Ross Brawn believes he is running a “model team for a new era” and that it will continue to be so in the wake of its takeover by Mercedes-Benz.

Taking time out from a press conference to celebrate the team’s partnership with watchmaker Graham-London in Switzerland, Brawn said: “We have proved that you can win titles in a new and different way and Mercedes-Benz is committed to a more sustainable Formula 1.

“I thought I had done all I could in F1, but 2009 brought many new emotions. We have done things differently, we want to be a better value for money F1 team and that will be the new, sustainable face of Grand Prix racing. There are 1000 people at Ferrari – we did last season with 450 people and we will be self-sufficient financially as we move into next season.

“F1 will never be cheap but it can be done in a different way, and that is one of the reasons that Mercedes-Benz chose to work with us. We have to achieve the best results for a lower cost and in a more cost-effective way. Overblown and excessive F1 teams are no longer viable and it’s been a salutary experience for everyone. There will be a lot more moderation in future, and that’s a good thing.

“We will continue to work the way we did last year. We are a model team for a new era and that means the Brawn ethos will remain intact. Mercedes-Benz wants the simplicity of the structure we have, and they will give us the freedom to continue working as we do. Under Honda that was more difficult.”

Brawn added that he has come to terms with the loss of World Champion Jenson Button to McLaren. “I think Jenson was looking for a new challenge,” he said. “He wants to show he’s a worthy champion, show that he can beat the strongest competitor out there, and I respect that.”

As Motor Sport closed for press, a team-mate for new signing Nico Rosberg had yet to be announced. Brawn refused to be drawn on the rumours that Michael Schumacher could made a dramatic comeback. “He is his own man, he’s having a nice life and I’m not sure he needs the aggravation of F1,” said Brawn. “You can never say never – but then I said we’d never lose Jenson. I’m not going to start speculating.”

Rob Widdows

Nico Rosberg interview, page 58

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