'Ferrari will continue roaring to F1 success'

Former Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn says the team can remain Formula One pacesetters despite his departure and that of Michael Schumacher.

Brawn, on a year's sabbatical, told BBC Sport he expected Ferrari to be title contenders with drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa this year.

"We had good and bad years when I was there. You can't always be in front.

"But the people who design the car are still there, so there's no reason why they can't just carry on," Brawn said.

He said he was confident the team would not fall back into the political infighting that bedevilled it in the pre-Schumacher era.

"It's down to how the individuals work," said Brawn, who was central in preparing the team for his departure.

"We were, in the period I was there, able to implement and instil certain philosophies and all the people involved are still mindful of that and will instil them into the team.

"They are all very sensible people.

"Ferrari is very strongly in the focus of the media and it can be very difficult not to be distracted by some of the things that are said.

"But you just have to have the strength and conviction in what you're doing and see it through.

"The car looks quite good, so if the results flow that will instil confidence."

Ferrari enter a new era with the loss of Brawn and Schumacher

Raikkonen has a lot to live up to after joining the team from McLaren as a replacement for Schumacher.

And former world champion Damon Hill has questioned whether Ferrari will be able to adapt to working with such a different personality.

"A bit of fizz has gone out of the team without Michael there," the 1996 world champion told BBC Sport. "I think they will be disoriented without Michael.

"Michael was very good at working the team, and I'm not sure Kimi is that kind of personality.

"He seems to be more the sort of person who just gets in the car and drives - if it's fast, it's fast, and if it's not there's nothing more he can do about it."

But Brawn, who has talked only to the BBC since leaving Ferrari at the end of last season, believes the Finn will prove a good choice. - BBC