Ross Brawn dismisses speculation linking him with new role at McLaren

Englishman has no immediate plans to return to the paddock

By William Esler.   Last Updated: 30/01/14 1:29pm

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Ross Brawn has dismissed speculation that he could take the newly-created role of Chief Executive Officer of McLaren, insisting he currently has no plans to return to the F1 paddock.

The 59-year-old, who left Mercedes at the end of last season, has been heavily linked with a move to McLaren as uncertainty surrounds the future of Martin Whitmarsh following their worst season in over 30 years.

Brawn also headed Honda's last foray into F1 and the Japanese manufacturer will be back in 2015 after re-forging its link with the Woking team.

On Wednesday it was announced that former Lotus Team Principal Eric Boullier would join McLaren as Racing Director, reporting to the yet-to-be-appointed new CEO of McLaren Racing.

However, when asked by Sky Sports F1's Natalie Pinkham if that job "had his name on it", Brawn stressed that he has rejected all approaches, without naming any teams.

"I'm focused on my fishing at the moment, no discussions, no comments," he said at Motor Sport magazine's 'Hall Of Fame' awards ceremony on Wednesday. "I've got a lot of very enjoyable fishing trips planned!

"Come the summer I may take stock and things may change - never say never - but it's not my plan. Any approaches I've had I have replied with a polite rebuff. I am very flattered but simply I don't want to get involved or engaged."

Meanwhile, while some teams struggled for reliability as F1 testing got underway in Jerez, Mercedes completed nearly 100 laps on the second day and Brawn is confident he has left the team in a good position to be competitive in 2014.

"We are going to see probably the biggest challenge that F1 teams have faced for a very long time," he added.

"I think there's going to be carnage at the beginning of the year from a reliability point of view and also a performance point of view, because of managing the fuel and working out the best way to run a race. It's going to be fascinating to see.

"I was comfortable with where I left the team - I think the team is going to demonstrate all the work and effort they put in in the last couple of years.

"We started this project a long time ago and I think it will pay off. I've got a lot of very good friends there who I want to succeed. I watch with some pleasure if Mercedes can win the championship this year."

Lewis Hamilton starts the season as one of the favourites for the Drivers' Championship, but having worked with the 2008 title winner last year, his former boss has highlighted the off-track aspects of winning a race that the Mercedes driver needs to focus on.

"He is a huge talent there is no doubt - he is an incredibly quick driver and very gifted," he said.

"It will be a challenging year in terms of application - putting in the time to all the different aspects that will go into winning a race this season. That's where Lewis has to make a big effort and I'm sure he will do it.

"He has to recognise that that side of it will be just as important as driving quickly. He mustn't get frustrated if he feels these things are confusing the issue of driving a car quickly, because it's the whole thing."

The Sky Sports F1 Online team will be providing live commentary of all three winter tests, with live updates from trackside also on Sky Sports News.

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