Ross Brawn will leave the Mercedes F1 team, with an official announcement expected in the next week.

The Briton had been expected to move on following the arrival of Paddy Lowe from McLaren earlier this season, but has remained in the team principal role as part of a 'soft transition' designed to allow his replacement gradual control of the operation in partnership with director Toto Wolff.

Despite the expectation, chairman Niki Lauda insisted that he was working on ways of keeping Brawn on board although, with sole direction of the team unlikely under Mercedes' switch to 'control by committee', it appeared to be an uphill task for the Austrian.

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Now, according to both the BBC and sources in Germany, Brawn's exit is likely to be confirmed in a matter of days, with the Briton seeing out the rest of the year before potentially taking a break from the sport.

Brawn has been linked with several teams since first rumours of his departure hit the paddock, but both Ferrari and McLaren have played down speculation suggesting he could be Maranello or Woking bound. Frank Williams played dumb when asked whether a return to the team that gave Brawn his break might be imminent, and there is a serious possibility that the 59-year old might take another sabbatical, just as he did when stepping back from life as technical director at Ferrari following a run of six successive world titles.

Having indulged his love of fishing for several months, Brawn returned at the head of Honda's F1 operation, before going on to buy out the struggling team and guiding it to a world title under his own name. Mercedes' involvement as engine supplier then led to a takeover and the formation of the team Brawn currently heads up.