Brawn will leave the team, after five years as team principal, on December 31st despite Lauda’s best efforts to convince him to stay. The 59-year-old will hand his role to executive directors Toto Wolff (business) and Paddy Lowe (technical).
“I’m very sad about it because I wanted him to stay another year,” Lauda told reporters before the Autosport Awards on Sunday.
“But he says he wants to go fishing. So I really tried hard but he stays a consultant to me which I think is very good and important.
“He says he wants a rest. So it’s very simple. I think he will not go in pension (retirement), this is clear. I think he will come back, I don’t know with the (governing) FIA or whatever he likes to do,”
He admits that there is a big challenge ahead: “Now Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe, and Paddy especially on the technical side, has to fill this big hole he (Brawn) has left.” Lauda added that Brawn would help him get Lowe up to speed with his role.
Mercedes finished second in the 2013 constructors’ standings, up from fifth place in 2012, with three race victories. Nico Rosberg won in Monaco and at the British Grand Prix and Hamilton took victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic