Ross Brawn insists that he fully intends to be in charge of the Mercedes F1 team for a 'very long time' amidst reports that a management reshuffle within Mercedes motorsport could lead to him being replaced.
The appointment of Toto Wolff as the manufacturer's new motorsport boss - and speculation of an approach for McLaren's Paddy Lowe - led to a report by the BBC
that Brawn's position was at risk, although that report was then downplayed by Wolff
in his first briefing with the press.
Speaking to the media himself, Brawn has himself reiterated that he doesn't plan to go anywhere although he acknowledged that there had been contact with Lowe as part of a plan for the future if he did elect to move on to pastures new.
“I am the team principal. I am in charge of sporting, technical and racing matters,” he was quoted by JamesAllenonF1
. “I know all the plans for the future of the team and I hope I'm going to be a part of them for a very long time.
“I know the situation completely. Mercedes want a long term commitment. And obviously with a lot of additions, I want to see how things go before I make a final long-term commitment, and so we have to have things in place.
“It's rather like my succession plan at Ferrari. When I decided I was going to stop at Ferrari, we built a succession plan and I am part of that, I've talked to Paddy, we know the situation. I'm planning on being here a very long time.”
Brawn added that he saw no reason why he would want to stand down while still enjoying his involvement in the sport.
“We are entering a really exciting period,” he said. “Obviously Lewis joining us was a massive catalyst for us all, a massive incentive, motivation. I'm seeing the maturity of the changes we made twelve months ago. This car has been project led by Aldo Costa and he's done a fantastic job and I'm really excited by that. Like any of us in life if we are excited by what we are doing we carry on doing it.
“When I say 'hope' I mean that I continue to find the excitement and the motivation and the reasons to go racing, because racing gives me a buzz. We have our difficult days but it's a really exciting period, the car is coming together well, we have set some tough tasks over the winter, we are meeting them.
“A lot of things are behind us now; we did the restructuring of the wind tunnel and a lot of things are behind us where this coming year we are going to gain the benefits of those initiatives we made.”