Ross Brawn will leave his position as Mercedes team principal at the end of the Formula 1 season, it was confirmed today.
Brawn and Mercedes have failed to reach an agreement on a role in which he would have been happy to stay at the team, sources close to Mercedes said.
Mercedes will now be run in tandem by their two executive directors, Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe, along with non-executive chairman Niki Lauda.
Both Mercedes and Brawn refused to comment on the development. Brawn’s impending departure follows months of talks between Mercedes bosses and the man who masterminded Michael Schumacher’s seven world titles at Benetton and Ferrari.
Brawn also headed Jenson Button’s title-winning 2009 season, entering privately as Brawn GP following Honda’s withdrawal from the sport. Mercedes eventually took over the team for 2010. The German company had originally signed Lowe, who was formerly the technical director of McLaren, last winter with the intention of him replacing Brawn with immediate effect.
But plans then changed, with Mercedes saying they wanted a ‘soft transition’, that they would like Brawn to stay.
Lauda pushed for Brawn to remain at the team, but the stumbling block was over the level of authority he would have. Brawn, 58, wanted to stay in overall charge. However, sources close to the team say that option was never open.
Mercedes believe a single team principal is an outdated concept given the complexities of modern F1. They were hoping to persuade Brawn to stay on in a role that did not involve the day-to-day running of the team.