Formula 1 - Analysis: Brawn and Hamilton defiant

This was meant to be Lewis Hamilton's big day, the moment he strolled through the doors at Brackley and give his first official press conference as a Mercedes Formula 1 driver.


The world should have been waiting with baited breath to hear what he had to say about his new environment, his new colleagues, his prospects for the season ahead.

But events overtook him and today wasn't Hamilton's day at all.

He took a back seat to speculation that Ross Brawn is to be imminently ousted as team principal, and that McLaren's Paddy Lowe is to be brought in as part of an ongoing management upheaval that has already shuffled Norbert Haug out of the door and brought Toto Wolff waltzing in.

The mood was one of (predictable) quiet defiance at that press conference. Brawn conceded discussions had taken place with Lowe, but said they were about putting a long-term succession plan in place for when he does decide to step down.

Brawn firmly reiterated his long-term commitment to the team and told us all the recent moves were about taking commercial considerations out of his hands so he could focus on "sporting and technical" matters.

"I'm not an entrepreneur, I'm a racer," he said. "I want to go racing without the incumbent thoughts of trying to make a profit.

"I'm planning on being here a very long time."

When the time came for Hamilton to speak, it seemed he had received similar assurances that Brawn would be staying, from the man himself at least.

Hamilton was typically calm, but evaded questions about the rumours.

He hadn't read any of the stories, "wasn't aware" of any plans to bring Lowe into the team, that he believed Brawn was committed to Mercedes for the long term.

You get the impression that Hamilton isn't too bothered by all the upheaval, he just wants to get on with the business of driving. After all, that's what he's paid to do.

He signed off with a message to the staff that will be working flat out to prepare his new car for him: "I will be flat out all the way and working as hard as I can to drive them to success.

"It's not a one-man band, it's a team effort and whilst they are putting in 100 per cent, I'll be doing exactly the same."

We wait to see for certain exactly who will make up the senior levels of that team. But for now it seems, it's business as usual as far as Brawn and Mercedes are concerned.

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