Nico Rosberg has admitted that he hopes current Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn remains with the Brackley squad next season.
The Briton has been the subject of rumours in the German media suggesting that he will quit Mercedes and head to one of its rivals for 2014. Although Williams was the initial destination claimed initially – with Brawn supposedly buying out Mercedes director Toto Wolff's interest in the Grove-based team – attention has now switched to a possible move to McLaren.
insists that Brawn will switch camps at the end of the current season, working with McLaren in the build-up to it transition from Mercedes to Honda power ahead of 2015. The Briton, having enjoyed success with Benetton and Ferrari, found perhaps his most iconic achievement after taking over the Japanese firm's previous F1 involvement, transforming the struggling Honda team into the eponymous Brawn outfit, and taking Jenson Button to the 2009 world title – with Mercedes power.
That success led to Mercedes buying out the Brawn squad and morphing it into its own works effort, which is currently enjoying its best season since the takeover, as Rosberg and team-mate Lewis Hamilton have racked up three race wins and become a force to reckon with in qualifying.
Brawn's position in the team, however, became the subject of speculation as Mercedes continued to add senior management figures to its structure. The signing of former McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe earlier this season appeared to compromise Brawn's role, despite the team insisting that there was no agenda to force the Briton out, and the latest speculation has been met with denials all round.
"The internet is just rumours but, for sure, there are discussions ongoing [with Mercedes] - Ross has said so,” Rosberg told reporters at the Japanese Grand Prix, "For me, it would be great if he stays because I get on well with him and I think he's a great team principal.”
While the German added that he would 'have confidence in the team leadership's ability to make sure we have a solid future whatever his decision', Hamilton also admitted that he would prefer to see his fellow Briton remain on board rather than taking his talents to a rival.
"I don't know what his plans are for the future, but of course I'd like him to stay," Hamilton told reporters, "He's a very easy going guy, very approachable, and is very much responsible for where the team is today."
Button, who switched to McLaren the year after winning his world title with Brawn, also played down suggestions that his former team boss may be about to switch camps, despite McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh promising 'eye-opening' personnel additions ahead of 2014.
"I am not involved in any of these processes, and Martin Whitmarsh would be the best person to ask," he told the official F1 website, "One thing is for sure, though, Ross Brawn will not
join the team next season.