F1: Mercedes Confirms Brawn Exit, Haug Doubts Vettel Can Be Beaten Photo:
TMR Team | Nov, 29 2013 | 3 Comments

As predicted, Mercedes on Thursday confirmed reports team boss Ross Brawn is stepping down.

In a media statement, the Brackley based team said the 58-year-old, to officially depart Mercedes on the last day of the year, "has chosen to hand over" the reigns to Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe.

"We have had long discussions with Ross about how he could continue with the team," said chairman Niki Lauda, "but it is a basic fact that you cannot hold somebody back when they have chosen to move on."

Brawn's next step is not known, but it is believed he will take a few months off before possibly returning to F1 with McLaren's 2015 engine supplier, Honda.

He was also spotted meeting with Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali last weekend at the Brazilian grand prix.



Haug doubts Mercedes can break Vettel dominance

Norbert Haug, the former Mercedes competition boss, has bad news for the hopeful German marque.

To now be headed by Paddy Lowe, Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda, Mercedes is bullish about its 2014 hopes, having finished second in 2013 to the runaway champion team, Red Bull.

"For everyone and for me the target is to win the world championship, both championships," driver Lewis Hamilton told the British broadcaster Sky after last weekend's 2013 finale in Brazil.

"If we don't do it naturally there will be some disappointment but we're not even going to put that negative energy out there," he added.

Haug, however, has filled that Mercedes-sponsored void of negativity.

"I don't think Sebastian Vettel's dominance can be broken yet," the 61-year-old, who was replaced by Wolff ahead of the 2013 season, told German radio Sport1.

"He understands these modern cars perfectly and we've hardly ever seen dominance like it, even by Michael Schumacher.

"I also don't think Red Bull is going to be much less competitive after the coming winter," added Haug, "even with the biggest technological revolution (in F1) in 25 years."

However, Haug does think Mercedes can be a contender for the 2014 title.

"With Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, the team is very well placed," he said. "Moreover, we began to think about the new generation of engine some five years ago.

"I believe that Mercedes can fight for the world championship," added Haug.



Montezemolo slaps Alonso with Twitter ban

Fernando Alonso has been banned from talking about Ferrari via his personal Twitter account.

The Spaniard had his ear "tweaked" by team president Luca di Montezemolo earlier this year, after making a series of disparaging remarks about the development of Ferrari's 2013 car.

"We will prohibit him from Twitter," Montezemolo reportedly said during his interview with Italian television Rai Uno this week.

"Although Alonso, like anyone else, can write on Twitter what he wants, everything concerning Ferrari will be communicated by Ferrari," he added.


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