New reports in the German press on Monday have said that Ross Brawn has decided to leave the Mercedes F1 team at the end of the season and will be succeeded by Paddy Lowe, the man that the team brought in from McLaren earlier in 2013.

Germany's Sport Bild newspaper says that Brawn informed Mercedes' non-executive chairman Niki Lauda about his decision at the weekend while in Yeongam for the Korean Grand Prix.

However the team itself immediately took to Twitter to deny the story, saying that "Lots of questions about internet reports but there's nothing to report from the team's side."

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The team's official Twitter page also carried a quote from Lauda himself in which he asserted: "There's no decision on the long term. That's the situation. And that's been the situation for some time."

Further reports quote Lauda as saying "I am in negotiations with Ross Brawn," adding: "My goal is clearly to retain him, but he will only make the decision at the end of the year."

However Sport Bild said that Brawn continued to be unhappy with Mercedes hiring Lowe as an 'heir apparent' to his team principal role and that he was still uncomfortable with the changes to the managerial set-up introduced by Lauda and Toto Wolff, Mercedes' director of motorsport.

Last month there were suggestions that Brawn was looking into buying up Wolff's remaining holding in the Williams F1 team, but these rumours have since been comprehensively denied by Brawn himself.

Now a new rumour has started up, partly as a result of McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh's talk on Friday of making "headline-grabbing" signings in the near future to bolster the beleaguered team's technical department.

There are few names in the sport that would be genuinely headline-grabbing, but signing Brawn would definitely count as one such example.

The story suggests that Brawn's old ties with Honda might have a big part to play in luring him to Woking, as McLaren is set to renew their own historic association with the Japanese engine manufacturer in 2015.

Brawn was team principal of Honda's F1 works team until they pulled out of the sport at the end of the 2008 season. Brawn took over the team under his own name - Brawn F1 - and in its one season of existence before being bought by Mercedes the team secured the world championship with Jenson Button.

If Brawn were to move to McLaren then he would renew his association with Button, but it would be a blow for Lewis Hamilton who admitted that the attraction of working with someone of Brawn's reputation within the sport was a big reason why he decided to leave McLaren and join Mercedes at the start of 2013.

While still only a very tenuous rumour, the fact that the F1 circus is headed to Japan for next weekend's grand Prix at Suzuka does suggest perfect timing if Honda wanted to make a high-profile announcement about its preparations for its return to F1 and its new partnership with McLaren.

But despite the supposed circumstantial evidence supporting the story, it would still be a surprise to see Brawn step back from the team principal role he's held since leaving Ferrari to take up a lesser technical-orientated role at McLaren.