Track Limits
The Dynamic Duo, Ross Brawn and Ben Sulayem Hang Up Their F1 Helmets
A brief look at some of the significant moves made ahead of the 2023 Formula One Championship Season
Written By:
Ernie Black, The F1 Poet

Out: Ross Brawn

Brawn decided to step down from his role as F1’s Managing Director of Motorsport at the beginning of 2023. He has a storied history in winning teams and is regarded as one of the sport’s top minds. Brilliant on the pit wall with his strategy calls, securing dynasty-level championships. Only outdone by the “Cinderella Story” of his fairy-tale “Brawn GP” adventure. His ability to negotiate a deal with Honda to take over operations once they exited the sport, during the financial challenges before the 2009 season for a mere £1, was a stroke of genius. This was followed by an equally genius dominant and championship-winning 2009 campaign. Subsequently, leading the 75.1% stake sale of the team to Mercedes Benz for a well documented £110 Million. Brawn had a significant role to play in the revised 2022 regulations aimed at improving the sport’s competitiveness and entertainment value.

Out: Ben Sulayem

In early February, FIA President (Sulayem) notified Formula One teams that he intended to step back from day-to-day operations. Taking over will be Nikolas Tombazis, who has a long history in the sport. From as far back as the early 1990s, he’s been working with teams such as Ferrari, McLaren and Benetton. In 2018, Tombazis was appointed Head of Single Seater Technical Matters. Ben Sulayem has been in the media for several well-documented, controversial stances and situations. Though the FIA may have indicated that this move was already planned, recent events may have accelerated Ben’s “moon-walk” from daily operations.

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