Sky Sports News understands that Ross Brawn will leave Mercedes at the end of 2013
No comment from Silver Arrows on Team Principal's future
By Mike Wise. Last Updated: 29/10/13 4:55pm
Brawn to leave Mercedes
Sky Sports News understands that Mercedes Team Principal Ross Brawn is to leave at the end of the season.
It has long been assumed that the 58-year-old would hand over the reins in what has been termed a 'soft transition', with the Mercedes team's Executive Directors Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe taking over.
However, talks about Brawn's future role at Brackley now appear to have broken down, paving the way for him to seek a role elsewhere in F1 if he chooses to do so.
When contacted by Sky Sports Online on Tuesday, a Mercedes spokersperson said: "We don't have any comment to make on the story. As we've said all along, when we have something to say, we will do so."
Speaking at last week's Indian Grand Prix, Brawn hinted that he would like to remain in F1.
"I still enjoy Formula 1 very much. It has its ups and downs and for someone like me it's unique," he told Sky Sports News.
"I enjoy it very much and I hope that answers your question."
Brawn's future at Mercedes was up for discussion no sooner had Wolff came on board as Executive Director at the start of the year.
Speculation intensified when Lowe was subsequently lured from McLaren, where he served as Technical Director, and eventually installed alongside Wolff in June.
The former Benetton and Ferrari Technical Director, who has had a hand in no fewer than 16 drivers' and constructors' titles, is on the record as saying that he will eventually move aside but a timetable for the handover has never been revealed.
"The transition will eventually be handing over to Toto and Paddy; the question is timing. We want the timing that's most effective for the team," Brawn said last week.
"I want the team to be competitive next year and I want the team to at least be in a position to win the World Championship, and we're just deciding the best way of managing that.
"That's the discussion that's going on and we'll let you know when we know what we're going to do."
According to Sky F1's Martin Brundle, Brawn's departure would be "no great surprise".
"Ross made it clear that his future at the team wasn't long-term; it was certainly short and probably not even medium term," he told Sky Sports News.
"My conversations with Ross are that he thinks it's the right time to step away.
"I expect that he'll step away from Mercedes at the end of the year, yes."
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton said that Brawn's presence was a factor in his decision to join from McLaren and Brundle reckoned the 2008 World Champion would be "disappointed" by the news.
"Ross is such a strong man. Just look at the relationship Michael Schumacher had with Ross Brawn to win those Championships," he said.
"When Ross is on your team, you're very happy about it because he's a calm thinker and can get things done. He can handle the politics along with the racing."
Brawn had previously been linked with a move to McLaren in time for the renewal of their partnership with Honda in 2015, but Brundle reckoned he could take a role with the FIA governing body.
"There is a lot of discussion in F1 and expectation that he'll take another role in some sort of F1 Commision, that he might not be out of F1 altogether," he added.
"He could well be going fishing, which he loves to do. He's done incredibly well for himself in terms of achievement and financial accumulation and he could fancy a little time out.
"But there is some discussion that he could end up in an overseeing role in F1."
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is live only on Sky Sports F1 this weekend - coverage begins with the Drivers' Press Conference on Thursday at 11am