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For Guys

F1: Will Ross Brawn quit Mercedes for Honda?

The ground swell of Formula One rumour  mongers is in full spate with floods of gossip that organisational  legend  and powerbroker Ross Brawn is all set to quit Mercedes at the end of the season.

How much is true and how much is sheer speculation is a puzzle which will run and run but experience tells me that it is rarely empty talk when word starts to get around about the major players on the grand prix scene.

Brawn himself, never a man for an idle boast or a mischevious and enigmatic response to pointed questions about which he is not ready to give an answer,is remaining tight lipped.

That does not mean, however, there is no substance to the flurry of tittle-tattle.

Indeed, there is some logic to the basis of the chatter.

I have heard that Honda, with whom Brawn has had past mutually satisfactory and successful dealings,  are said to be eager to recruit him to lead their return to Formula One in 2015.

His reputation among those he once worked with, now upgraded and therefore influential bosses at Honda, stands him in excellent stead for a move from the German legends to the Japanese engine masters.

Again rumour has it that he has not been entirely satisfied or comfortable with his position at Mercedes with incoming Paddy Lowe, from McLaren and appointed Executive Technical Director and threatening to overshadow his position as the main voice on team tactics and direction.

The brains behind all seven of genius Michael Schumacher’s world championships, first with Benetton and then Ferrari,Brawn would be the perfect answer to Honda’s demands for only the very best and most universally respected to lead them forward.

Mercedes insist: ‘No decision has been made.’

They add: ‘There are a lot of questions, but there is nothing to report from the team’s side.’

Niki Lauda, the former world champion, now executive team head,does take the issue a bit further by stressing: ‘I am in negotiation with Ross.

‘There is still no decision on how to proceed in the long term.  That is the situation. And that is how it has been for some time.

‘We don’t need an answer before the end of the year.’

Brawn, extremely wealthy – he is worth around £100m – from his trophy-packed run in Formula One, is more likely to opt for the Honda challenge than a bigger wage than he gets at Mercedes.

I, for one,a Manchester lad like him, would love to see him get stuck into the Honda comeback bid for grand prix glory.