is going "fishing", but he may return to formula one after a break. That is the claim of Niki Lauda
, who as Mercedes
' team chairman tried to stop 58-year-old Briton Brawn from deciding to leave the German squad altogether.
But, with Paddy Lowe
waiting in the wings as team boss, Brawn did decide to step away from the Brackley based team, which he also led under the Honda
and Brawn GP
guises. "He told me, and all the staff of the team, that he wants to do something else," Austrian Lauda told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper. "Spend more time with the family, go fishing," he added.
"Ross assured me that first he wants to relax, but I would not be surprised if he is not soon in demand," added Lauda. "He has won eight world championships -- only Adrian Newey
has won more. If Ross does eventually find another job in formula one, I will respect his decision," said Lauda.
However, Lauda insisted that the fact the team will now be headed by Lowe and Toto Wolff
now makes the "leadership structure more clear, which will allow the team to make more progress". "Ross was excellent at his job, I want to stress that," said Lauda.
"Now Toto and Paddy are taking over, and that will not be easy. Team leadership is always associated with pressure, and I will pay close attention to ensuring there is no vacuum in competence. But I firmly believe they will cope," he concluded. (GMM)