New Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has moved to quash rumours suggesting that Ross Brawn's position as team principal of its F1 outfit was at risk.
A report by the BBC
said that Mercedes was looking at the possibility of replacing Brawn as part of a restructure, with the team hoping to bring in Paddy Lowe from McLaren to work alongside Wolff.
However, speaking in a teleconference with the media after the announcement of his new role, Wolff said there were no plans to oust Brawn from his role and that he was eager to see the former Benetton and Ferrari man remain in place.
Wolff also wouldn't be drawn on whether or not a move had been made for Lowe, saying it was simply speculation that he couldn't comment on.
“It would be foolish to talk about replacing anyone,” he said. “That is speculation in the media, I think I would be aware of that. Ross is there and he is part of the team and I hope Ross is going to stay as long as possible. I admire what Ross has done - his track record is fantastic
“Paddy is a recognised person in the paddock, he has been with McLaren for 15 or 20 years. I've read it in the paper, that's all I can tell you. Obviously in F1 there is always a lot of speculation about personalities joining or not joining, but there's nothing I can tell you at this stage.”
Wolff will retain his shares in Williams despite his new role with Mercedes and insisted that it wouldn't have an impact on the job he has been taken on to do.
"For the moment I'm going to keep those shares," he said. "I have a responsibility as a shareholder. I've got a wonderful opportunity, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with Mercedes to be involved on a daily basis but I can't let everybody else down behind me as shareholders. I'm going to look at the situation in the next couple of weeks or months.
"I am working 100 per cent for Mercedes, as a director Mercedes and trying to be successful with Mercedes. But I've had a long interest in Williams and you can't kill an emotion just by resigning from a directorship. I'm hoping from a professional standpoint that Mercedes do well and I'm working 24/7 to do that, but if Williams do well I will be happy for Williams."