Ross Brawn intends to look for a new challenge in 2008 and he hopes that it will come from a return to Ferrari. The former Scuderia technical director officially stepped down from his role at the end of this season to take a break but it's long...
Ross Brawn intends to look for a new challenge in 2008 and he hopes that it will come from a return to Ferrari. The former Scuderia technical director officially stepped down from his role at the end of this season to take a break but it's long been speculated that the Brit will return to Maranello, possibly as team principal if Jean Todt retires.
"I felt 10 years for me at Ferrari would be a milestone and that it would be a good time at 52 years old to take a gap year and then look for the next challenge, which I hope comes from within Ferrari," Brawn told ITV. "But 10 years of doing what I've been doing has been fantastic, a great opportunity, wonderful experience and I just felt that personally I need the next challenge."
Back at the same time of confirming Brawn's departure, Ferrari announced that engine director Paolo Martinelli was also leaving. Michael Schumacher had by then already announced his retirement, so Ferrari has a few changes to get used to.
Brawn conceded that it was "unfortunate" that he and Schumacher left together but is confident that the team will continue to be strong. "My decisions were made some time ago and I was determined once I'd made the decision to start putting things in place and it would've been wrong to change when the things evolved with Michael," he commented.
"But it would've been obviously easier if it hadn't been such a dramatic change because these guys now coming in have got to learn to work with Kimi (Raikkonen), an extremely fast driver but who no doubt has a different way of working to Michael."
"And in a way I would've enjoyed being part of that -- to have experienced a driver like Kimi and worked with a driver like Kimi would have been a great experience. But they're going to do a good job for sure. They've experienced how you can win a championship, they know the approach you need to take and they'll add their own strengths to that as well."
Brawn was replaced by Mario Almondo, while Stefano Domenicali took the position of sporting director. The rumour mill suggests that Todt intends to retire but stayed on for 2007 to see Ferrari through a transitional year, fearing it would destabilize the team too much if he left at the same time as Brawn and Schumacher.
Meanwhile, Schumacher is likely to become a talent scout for the Scuderia. Although neither the German nor Ferrari have confirmed any official position, the team always hoped that Schumacher would continue to work with them once he retired from racing.
"He (Schumacher) is already interested in his new role and he will also act as a talent scout in karting for us," said President Luca di Montezemolo, according to Gazetta dello Sport. "Michael will be a consultant for Ferrari. He will have his office, he'll come over whenever he wants to, and he will attend some GPs."