The 59-year-old confirmed last week that he would be stepping down as Mercedes team principal at the end of the year, sparking speculation regarding his next move. A sabbatical was widely expected given that he opted to take some time out after stepping down at Ferrari back in 2006, but other options included a return to Maranello, a move to McLaren ahead of Honda’s arrival in 2015 and even a role at Williams. However, Brawn has confirmed that he will take some time out of Formula One before making his next move.
When asked where he would go next by the International Business Times, Brawn said: “I’ve no idea. I really genuinely will see how things pan out in the next six, twelve months and make a decision.
“I’ll take some time off now and reflect on things and see if the juices start flowing again and next summer make a decision on if there’s any opportunities and things I want to do, or people offer me things to do.”
Brawn’s inference that the juices have stopped flowing supports Niki Lauda’s statement confirming that Mercedes had unsuccessfully attempted to find the Briton a role within the team, as he had decided that the time was right to walk away from the German team. It appears that Brawn is – just as he was at the end of 2006 with Ferrari – looking to take some time to recharge his batteries ahead of his next challenge.
However, it would come as little surprise if this sabbatical did turn out to be permanent. In 2006, Brawn said that he was relishing the opportunity to go fishing and take some time out of Formula One, but he returned in 2008 with Honda’s works team as he missed the sport so much.
Should his desire to return burn as bright next summer, then Brawn would easily find a place within the sport. However, if there is any doubt in his mind about coming back, he would most probably decide to retire. He has little more to prove in the sport with sixteen world championships to his name, two of which came with his own team, Brawn GP.
For now though, the duumvirate of Paddy Lowe and Toto Wolff will look to continue Mercedes’ upward trend in recent years and plot an assault on Red Bull’s dominance in 2014.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic.