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."
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.