Ross Brawn Returns to Shape the Future of Formula One

It’s official, Ross Brawn will return to Formula One in a newly created role called the “Sporting Boss”. His return to the sport will be widely appreciated and popular and the new role is probably more attuned to his own strengths and interests.

He isn’t quite replacing Bernie Ecclestone, who will continue to operate the commercial side of the sport, but he is being elevated to a position of significant power in that he will determine the sporting regulations and elements, hopefully bringing back a simpler format of racing that doesn’t require the viewer to download a PDF of FIA regulations that seem to evolve on a weekly basis.

SPA FRANCORCHAMPS, BELGIUM - AUGUST 28: Jenson Button of Great Britain and Brawn GP drives during practice for the Belgian Grand Prix at the Circuit of Spa Francorchamps on August 28, 2009 in Spa Francorchamps, Belgium. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
SPA FRANCORCHAMPS, BELGIUM – AUGUST 28: Jenson Button of Great Britain and Brawn GP drives during practice for the Belgian Grand Prix at the Circuit of Spa Francorchamps on August 28, 2009 in Spa Francorchamps, Belgium. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

It isn’t crystal clear, but it looks to be that the new owners of the sport, Liberty Media, have recognized that an individual who has an engineering background and an understanding of how a Formula One team operates in the modern era is going to have a greater change of bringing in regulations that will improve the racing more so than having a strictly corporate hive-mind in charge of sporting elements.

Another reason that the move works is that Ross Brawn and the current president of the FIA Jean Todt worked together at Ferrari between 1996 and 2006, so they will already be quite acclimatized to say the least.

Schumacher - Japan -2000
Schumacher – Japan -2000

This is definitely a positive move and will hopefully assist in bringing Formula One out of its current period of frustration in terms of over-officiating positive race-craft and two-tier system. Surely one of the long-term goals will be to get all teams on the same page with regards to power-units. With Toro Rosso running a 2015-spec this year and Sauber running a 2016-spec for 2017, it’s hard to argue against the premise that we do have a two-tier Formula, a Formula 1+0.5.

On his return, Ross Brawn said,

“That’s how I like to be involved in the sport. I would never go back to a team. I did everything I can in a team, but I would be repeating myself.

For sure, trying to help F1 become a better F1 would be appealing. It would be the one thing that could be interesting. If you ask me what F1 needs, it needs a plan; a three-year and a five-year plan.

My view is we haven’t got the ideal structure for creating that plan and implementing it over time.”

– Ross Brawn

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 29: Race winner Jenson Button (R) of Great Britain and Brawn GP celebrates with Team Principal Ross Brawn (C) and second placed Rubens Barrichello (L) of Brazil and Brawn GP on the podium after the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at the Albert Park Circuit on March 29, 2009 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 29: Race winner Jenson Button (R) of Great Britain and Brawn GP celebrates with Team Principal Ross Brawn (C) and second placed Rubens Barrichello (L) of Brazil and Brawn GP on the podium after the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at the Albert Park Circuit on March 29, 2009 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)