Ross Brawn is to help clear the way to get fully focused on helping Mercedes GP succeed in Formula 1 by resigning from its board in the next few weeks.
After Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler and financial partner Aabar having become the sole shareholders in the team last month, Brawn's imminent resignation is aimed at helping streamline the operation further. The move will ensure that Daimler and Aabar have full control at board level, while allowing Brawn to concentrate more on his job as team principal.
"The shareholding has now passed to Daimler and Aabar, and part of that process is that I will no longer be a formal director of the board," Brawn told AUTOSPORT. "The board is principally for shareholders and I am no longer a shareholder, but I will still be an operative of the board. What you will see over the next few weeks is that I will resign from the board, but it has nothing to do with my team position.
"My role will now be clearly focused on making the team successful – which is what I want and what the shareholders want. It is a difficult balance to have of being a shareholder and operative of the company, so it tidies things up a lot. And it is cleaner and easier for me in terms of what I want to do, and what my role is going to be over the next few years."
Brawn believes that both he and the team's shareholders will be better placed to focus on their objectives by the move – as it returns him to the pure team principal role he had originally signed up for when he joined the then Honda team in 2007.
"Obviously, when I joined the company as team principal, it wasn't as a shareholder, it wasn't as an owner – it was as a team principal. There was just an ambition to succeed," he explained. "We had this interim situation which was by necessity, and now we are back to a situation which I feel is the best structure for us to succeed.
"Our shareholders are totally committed to succeeding – and there are no distractions in terms of the objectives of the shareholders. Success is the only thing they are interested in, and when you have a company that has a lot of shareholders it is not clean, is it? The team now has two shareholders, Daimler and Aabar, and they both want to win."
Although soon resigning from the board, Brawn will still continue to keep in close touch with it – and will fulfill a similar role in board meetings as he has until now.
"I will still attend board meetings, I will still present the status of the team, I will still request the initiatives we need to be successful, and I will still discuss the budget which has been the case over the last 12 months. In an operative way it will continue in very much the same way. This is not the smoke going up; this was all part of the plan. It only strengthens our situation."
Brawn said that he remained fully committed to Mercedes GP for the long-term and dismissed any suggestion that he was taking the first steps toward retirement.
"We are building this over the next few years, and there is no timetable," he said. "The timetable is simply to succeed, so as long as I can physically do it then I will keep going. But this will be my last team in F1."