Brawn appoints Nielsen to F1 research group

Ross Brawn has appointed ex-Williams team manager Steve Nielsen as Formula One's new sporting director.

Nielsen will join Brawn's burgeoning F1 research group, which has been tasked with formulating the next set of sporting and technical regulations. He will take up his new role on August 1 and report directly to Brawn.

"I have known Steve for many years and have seen at first hand his skills and ability," Brawn said. "His appointment will strengthen the working group we are setting up to work with the FIA and the teams in defining a framework for the technical and sporting regulations for Formula 1's next phase.

"Steve's main responsibility will be related to sporting and organisational matters, for example by attending the meetings of the Sporting Working Group."

Nielsen will work alongside ex-Williams engineers Jason Somerville and Craig Wilson, who joined the research group in May, and former Mercedes chief strategic officer Nigel Kerr, who will also start on August 1. Brawn and his team are hoping to devise a set of regulations that encourage close racing while allowing midfield teams to close the gap to the front.

Nielsen has worked in F1 since 1986 when he quit his job as a policeman in East London and joined Team Lotus as a truckie. Since then, he has worked in a series of roles as team manager and sporting director at Tyrrell, Honda, Arrows, Benetton, Renault, Lotus, Caterham, Toro Rosso and Williams