Has Ross Brawn signed on to replace Bernie?

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A report in German media outlet Auto Bild Motorsport is claiming that Ross Brawn has been signed by Liberty Media to replace Bernie Ecclestone.

The former Ferrari and Mercedes boss recently admitted that he wouldn't mind being involved in shaping F1's future while excluding any association with a specific team.

"For sure, trying to help F1 become a better F1 would be appealing," the 61-year-old told the Telegraph in October.

Brawn, who guided his own team to a championship title in 2009 before selling to Mercedes, left Formula 1 in 2013 after finding himself at odds with the German manufacturer's headmen, Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff.

A consensus view in the F1 paddock is that Brawn's involvement at the highest level of the sport would add value at a time when Grand Prix racing is on the verge of multiple changes, both on the regulation and the commercials fronts.

Red Bull's team boss Christian Horner called for Brawn to replace the Strategy Group last year, while Mercedes Toto Wolff, who Brawn takes aim at in a soon to be published book, would also readily welcome on-board the former engineer and strategist.

"If I need to vote for the return of Ross, then I am ready to do that," Wolff said last weekend in Mexico.

In addition to claiming that Brawn will replace Eccelstone, Auto Bild is also saying that the FIA has also signed off on the nomination.

FIA President Jean Todt and Ross Brawn know each other well obviously, the latter having worked under the former's orders at Ferrari during its golden Schumacher years.

Auto Bild concluded its article by stating, "When the deal will be made official, and what role Bernie Ecclestone will play in the future, is not yet known."

Replacing at the helm of the sport such a prominent and instrumental figure as Bernie Ecclestone won't be easy however, and one also wonders if F1's current supremo would accept to go quietly.

It's more likely Brawn would handle F1's technical and sporting front, along with the commercial holder's relationship with the teams, while Liberty Media would name a specific individual in charge of the sport's commercial management.

No doubt, Liberty Media will be advocating a pragmatic approach to Formula 1's change of the guard, but many hurdles lie ahead, not the least of which will be the final closing of the deal involving Liberty , current owner CVC and the anti-trust department of the European Commission.

"It ain't over 'till the fat lady sings," must be thinking Bernie.

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