Ross Brawn's immediate future as team principal at Mercedes is not in doubt, insists its chairman Niki Lauda, despite Paddy Lowe planning to switch from McLaren.
Speculation that Brawn will be stepping down from his role sooner rather than later grew after it emerged that McLaren technical director Lowe has agreed to join Mercedes at the start of next year.
Lowe had been singled out as the future boss of Mercedes, and Brawn himself even acknowledged he had been involved in discussions to lure him to the Brackley, UK-based outfit as his successor. But although Lowe (BELOW) is now set to join Mercedes from the start of 2014, Lauda says that there is no plan in place for Brawn to relinquish his role.
"I must tell you that I know Ross really well, I work with him everyday, he is highly motivated and there is no question about it," Lauda told Sky Sports News. "There is no discussion at all that he will leave. He is committed and he is in charge of the whole team so let's wait and see what he can do."
Although there had been some tensions between Lauda and Brawn when they began working together, relations have been much improved in recent weeks, especially since the arrival of new Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff.
Lauda added: "Ross Brawn is the team principal. There is no question about that, he is fully in charge and responsible for the technical part of the car. Toto Wolff joined the team some weeks ago. He will look after all the commercial side of it.
"Mercedes own the majority of the team and they are the ones who made these changes. I am the head of the board, so I am like the helicopter looking from the top down and sometimes there is some fog and sometimes I can see things very well. But I think we are all together, Toto Wolff, Ross Brawn and myself and the whole team of people. I am sure we will move forward."
Although McLaren all but confirmed Lowe's departure when it announced that Tim Goss was replacing him as technical director, Mercedes has so far declined to elaborate on its plans
Speaking about the matter, Lauda said: "I cannot confirm anything yet. I was surprised that McLaren issued the statement, but I cannot make any comment for the time being."