Niki Lauda insists Ross Brawn could stay on at Mercedes as Team Principal in 2014
Englishman's future with the team yet to be determined
By Mike Wise and Pete Gill. Last Updated: 04/11/13 8:22am
Niki Lauda has insisted that Mercedes are still doing all they can to retain Ross Brawn and a decision on the Englishman's position with the team will only be taken at the end of the year.
Reports earlier this week claimed that Brawn had decided to step down from his role of Team Principal following the season-ending Brazilian GP later this month. However, Mercedes are adamant that Brawn may yet stay on.
"It is very easy to say what I've said already 100 times: I want Ross to stay; I'm in agreement with him that after the Brazilian race, we're going to sit down in England in peace and discuss the future. It's very simple; it's no more, no less," Lauda, the team's non-executive chairman, told Sky Sports F1 in the Abu Dhabi paddock.
The uncertainty over Brawn's future has been widely attributed to the recruitment of former McLaren Technical Director Paddy Lowe earlier this year. Yet, amid suggestions that Mercedes are having second thoughts on plans to push forward a 'soft handover' of responsibility from Brawn to Lowe following a race-winning campaign in which they have comprehensively exceeded expectations, Lauda has vowed that Brawn and Lowe could live under the same garage roof.
"There are rumours around but I can tell one other thing that's important that nobody believes: when Paddy Lowe joined, there was no aggravation between Ross and Paddy Lowe; there was no aggravation between Ross and Toto Wolff; there's no aggravation between me and any of them.
"We're in a normal end race of the season, and we hope and fight for second place in the Constructors' Championship - at least that's my target, second is better than third. And then when the season is over, logically we all sit down and see what Ross wants to do."
Were Brawn to leave Mercedes, it's believed he could stay on in the sport either by taking on a role within the FIA or by joining McLaren or Williams.