• McLaren

Rumours of Brawn return to McLaren grow

ESPN Staff
January 18, 2014 « Toro Rosso to be unveiled at Jerez | Williams fires up FW36 »
Ross Brawn - speculation grows © Sutton Images

Rumours that Ross Brawn is being lined up to replace Martin Whitmarsh as McLaren's team principal continue to grow in the aftermath of Ron Dennis being reappointed as McLaren Group chief executive.

Whitmarsh's name did not feature in the media releases issued by McLaren and Press Association Sport, not renowned for wild speculation, said he would not be team principal come the season-opening race in Australia in March

The Daily Telegraph reported that Dennis received a standing ovation from McLaren staff after he made the announcement of his return on Thursday and a number of them took to Twitter to express their delight.

Dennis is not believed to want to be hands-on in running the team and is likely to be looking for an experienced and successful person to take on that role. Which is where Brawn comes in.

The newspaper said that the paddock was "awash with speculation that Brawn could end his sabbatical early to take over … McLaren did not deny the reports, but said they 'would not get involved in commenting on that kind of media speculation'".

Brawn left Mercedes in November and while he has said he will take time out before making any decision on what he does next that has not prevented the speculation.

But former F1 driver John Watson told the Daily Mail that there could be "contractual obligations which might obstruct Brawn from accepting a job at McLaren," adding: "Personally, I can't see it happening … I don't think it is likely, but then again I did not expect Ron to make this move either."