Ross Brawn, a man known as the mad genius behind the Benetton, Ferrari, Brawn GP and Mercedes teams in the past, has signed a contract to become the new sporting boss of Formula One, reports Auto Bild. But sorry! Current CEO of F1 and world’s most tenacious dingleberry Bernie Ecclestone isn’t leaving yet.
Brawn has already signed the contract to head the sporting side of Formula One with new series owners Liberty Media with the approval of F1's governing body, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, according to Auto Bild.
Brawn has been gone from the sport for a few years, but you may have heard of Brawn’s last job: heading up the now-unbeatable team at Mercedes. Brawn purchased what was left of the old Honda F1 team to run as Brawn GP, where the team won the 2009 world constructors’ championship and driver Jenson Button won the 2009 world drivers’ championship. Mercedes then purchased the team to be its works effort in 2010, which seems to have turned out well for the now-Silver Arrows squad.
Brawn also previously worked with FIA president Jean Todt at Ferrari.
Brawn won’t head Formula One alone, as his primary duties will involve the technical and sporting regulations, acting as a liason between teams and the FIA, and becoming the new outward face of F1, per Auto Bild. Longtime motorsports marketer Zak Brown was suggested as a likely partner for marketing the sport, for one. One of the biggest tasks Brawn and his colleagues are charged with is making the sport more attractive to a younger audience.
Despite that goal, Bernie Ecclestone will likely remain with the sport for the time being—even if he is representative of everything younger fans tend to take issue with. Bernie still handles many dealings on the commercial side of the sport as F1's CEO, which Brawn will not be doing. Ecclestone has a three-year deal with Liberty Media to remain with F1, per Fox Sports.
Ecclestone has already relinquished some of his control over F1 to new chairman Chase Carey while continuing to serve as the sport’s CEO. However, he’s still stirring up controversy with off-the-wall remarks. Hopefully a change in guard over the sporting side means we’ll finally get better remarks on the sport itself that don’t involve wetting down the track with sprinklers.
UPDATE 11/2: Brawn has denied Auto Bild’s report, saying that he is merely consulting with F1 at this time. Read more here.