by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 187
F1 >>> nEWs Ross Brawn has played down reports that he could hand over the reins of the Mercedes Formula One team to new recruit Paddy Lowe in as little as six months’ time, asserting there was no firm date set for any handover of responsibility. Brawn (pic, right) has led the team since 2008, when it was run under the Honda banner, but three largely unsuccessful years as Mercedes had prompted questions over his future which only grew louder after a wholesale reshuffle of the team’s management saw Toto Wolff take over as the new head of the German marque’s motorsports programme from long time Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug. The speculation surrounding Brawn’s future intensified further when it emerged that Lowe (pic, left) had been lured to Mercedes by Wolff with the promise of a high-profile role, believed to be that of team principal. But the gossip had died down in recent months, with Wolff and Brawn striking up a good working relationship and Mercedes showing improved form. In an inter view with German daily Die Welt published over the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend Brawn seemed to hint at a ‘soft handover’ in as little as six months’ time. But on Friday, Brawn clarified that there was no firm timeframe for when he would step back and take a less active role in the running of the team. “T here is no timescale,” Brawn told Autosport. “T here will be a point in the future when some of the responsibilities I have today will be handled by Paddy, but it won't be an abrupt stop and an abrupt start. Paddy and I have known each other for a long time and we are working on the things that he can make a real contribution towards the team [on] and he's starting to pick up some of those things. We won't do anything that risks the potential of the team, and I imagine that within the next year, 18 months, things will evolve.” Lowe was set to join Mercedes in early 2014 after having been put on ‘gardening leave’ by McLaren. But the team released him from his contract early and Lowe started work for his new German employers in June. “People of his calibre are not easy to come by, so it was clear that we should bring Paddy to us,” Brawn said in the Die Welt interview. “However, the plan was designed more for the future. The idea was that my role in the team would change with time and Paddy would then take on more responsibility.” Brawn preparing for 'Lowe-profile' future – or is he? Bernie ecclestone has been indicted by German prosecutors over the Gerhard Gribkowsky bribery case, although the difference in legal jargon between countries means that the F1 boss has not been charged with bribing the banker over the sale of Formula One to CVC Capital Partners. Rather, Ecclestone’s legal team has been presented with the case against him, and they now have six weeks to prepare a response to be filed with a German judge. The judge will then study the submissions filed by both parties before determining whether or not there is enough of a case to merit bringing it before the courts. The case centres around a $44 million payment Ecclestone made to former Bayern LB banker Gerhard Gribkowsky , allegedly to facilitate the sale of the bank ’s stake in Formula One to CVC Capital. Ecclestone has denied any wrongdoing, but has admitted to paying Gribkowsky. According to the F1 boss the payment was not a bribe, but hush money paid to silence the German banker – who was last year sentenced to eight- and-a -half years in prison – after he threatened to report alleged financial irregularities to the British tax authorities. Ecclestone asserts his finances are all above board, but said that he paid the money to avoid the inconvenience of a multi-year investigation into his affairs. “I have just spoken to my lawyers and they have received an indictment,” Ecclestone told the Financial Times. “ We are defending it properly. It will be an interesting case. It’s a pity it’s happened.” That proper defense is thought to be centred on the fact that Gribkowsky – who is the main witness for the prosecution – cannot be seen as a credible witness given that he is currently serving time for charges of corruption and receipt of bribes. CVC is currently standing by Ecclestone, and there is as yet no sign that they intend to throw the 82-year-old to the wolves. “Mr Ecclestone, CEO of Formula One Group, has now received a bill of indictment, in English, from the Munich Regional Court,” CVC’s official statement read. “Mr Ecclestone has six weeks to provide a response to this bill of indictment, prior to a decision being made by the Court on opening proceedings. The Board will continue to monitor developments in this situation accordingly.” 'MR E' INDICTED ... but still in charge 9 GPWEEK.com // 9 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: