Brackley, Wednesday: Mercedes GP team principal Ross Brawn has said that he is pleased about the rebranding he has undergone after selling his team, and is unconcerned by reports in the British press of a lack of patriotism.
After Jenson Button’s departure from the team, formerly Brawn GP, rumours have persisted that new owners Mercedes wanted to create an all-German “über-team” to take on their former partners, the increasingly all-British McLaren.
Brawn confirmed today that the rumours were indeed true. “We’re looking for a German driver to race alongside Nico Rosberg,” he admitted, “but of greater concern is the fact that no all-German team could be complete when being led by a British team principal. Thus the decision has been made to rebrand me as a German for the duration of Mercedes’ tenure in F1.”
Brawn, or Braun as he now insists on being called, stood alongside his also-rebranded second-in-command Nick Frei as he took questions from an indignant crowd of journalists. One asked whether there was any truth in the rumours linking Michael Schumacher to the team: “Have you been in talks with Schumacher about a drive?”
Braun cagily answered, “I can confirm that I instructed Nick to contact Michael earlier about the possibility, but as yet we have not heard a response.” At this point, Frei excused himself, heard to be muttering, “He meant Michael? Oh, nein!”
Braun was also asked about whether his decision to take on German branding for 2010 and beyond was motivated by a lack of patriotism. However, the team boss denied this: “I can categorically say that my loyalty first and foremost will always be to this country, to Britain. Über alles,” he added.