Brawn denies Stepney’s ‘breakaway’ claims

Thu, 2 August 2007, 12:58

Ross Brawn, presently on ‘sabbatical’ following a long stint as Ferrari technical director, on Wednesday denied that he had planned to defect the Italian team to join a rival.

The Briton’s sacked former colleague at Maranello based Ferrari, Nigel Stepney, claimed on Tuesday that Brawn was the ringleader of a band of workers who wanted to take their talents elsewhere in pitlane.

Referring to a ‘breakaway’ group, countryman Stepney said it “would have been led by my friend Ross Brawn”.

Brawn responded to the Italian news agency ANSA: “Ferrari is the only team or group with whom I have discussed my future.”

He added: “All the press articles that link me with other teams are either inaccurate or just speculative.”

Brawn said he was motivated to speak to ANSA because of “recent reports about my situation”.

He reiterated that he decided to take a sabbatical in 2007 purely for “personal reasons”.

“After 30 years in motor racing I wanted to dedicate some time to my family and to pursue personal ambitions that I had been unable to do.”

Brawn said he has now begun to negotiate with Ferrari in order to explore the “possibility to work together again in the future”.

He added: “After ten fantastic years, the people and the culture of Ferrari and Italy are in my heart. Ferrari is my team.”

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