Ross Brawn to get the axe at Mercedes? UPDATE #3
Ross Brawn's position as Mercedes team principal is not in discussion despite Paddy Lowe's departure from McLaren at the end of the year, Mercedes GP non-executive chairman Niki Lauda has said.
McLaren announced earlier that Tim Goss had taken over as technical director with Lowe, who has been linked in the media as a possible replacement for Brawn, leaving at the end of the year for a "fresh challenge".
"I cannot officially say anything...McLaren put him on 'gardening leave' so let's wait and see," Lauda, who is also a Mercedes team shareholder, told Reuters at a Motorsport magazine Hall of Fame event in London when asked whether Lowe would eventually find his way to Mercedes.
"But what I want to make clear is that Ross is not even discussed. If Paddy Lowe is coming or not, I cannot tell you now...but there is peace. Ross is in his position and will stay in his position. Everything is under control."
Lowe is considered certain to join Lewis Hamilton, McLaren's 2008 world champion who switched to Mercedes at the end of last year, at the first opportunity and media reports last month suggested he could take over Brawn's job.
Brawn, who will be 60 next year, is one of Formula One's grandees and a master tactician and technical expert who guided Germany's now-retired Michael Schumacher to seven titles with Benetton and Ferrari.
He told reporters last month that he was planning on being at Mercedes for a long time but was also building a succession plan at a team that won championships under his name as Brawn GP before he sold it to the German manufacturer.
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said Lowe, who can expect to face a period of 'gardening leave' keeping him away from the team's 2014 car, would have a different role until the end of the year.
Lowe was already conspicuous by his absence when the new McLaren was launched at the Woking factory last month.
"He's been a good and successful F1 technical director and we wish him well when he embarks on a fresh challenge in 2014," Whitmarsh said in the statement. Yahoo Eurosport02/25/13 Ross Brawn’s future at Mercedes was in doubt on Monday night after their recruitment of Paddy Lowe from McLaren increased the likelihood of him stepping down as team principal.
Brawn had warned last month that he would leave if Lowe arrived and, given that the new man is due to be running the team day-to-day alongside executive director Toto Wolff from next season, it is difficult to envisage how he can continue in his existing role.
Lowe, who has served McLaren for 20 years and the last two as technical director, will not travel to Melbourne for the opening race on March 17. Although Mercedes declined to comment on Monday night it is understood that he will formally join the Brackley team at the end of the year.
Brawn, responding recently to growing questions over his next move, had categorically denied that Lowe would be joining for as long as he was in charge, suggesting he was simply a fallback option: “Paddy is not coming. I want to see how things go before I make a final long-term commitment. If I choose to leave the team then Paddy will come. We have got a plan.”
Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda indicated last night that Brawn had not yet discussed his options after Lowe’s appointment. “If Paddy Lowe is coming or not, I cannot tell you now,” Lauda said. “Make up your own [mind], whatever you want to do.
“The situation is as it is. McLaren have put him [Lowe] on gardening leave, so let’s wait and see. To be clear, Ross has not even been discussed, which is an important thing. But there’s peace. Ross is in his position, he will stay in his position, so everything is under control, there is nothing to make out of this.” London Telegraph01/24/13 This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. Ross Brawn insists he won't be stepping down as Mercedes team boss despite Toto Wolff's arrival.
"Toto is coming in and there is another side of the business that quite frankly I don't want to get involved in," said Brawn.
"I don't want to get involved in the commercial activities and with the support we need to give Daimler on a day-to-day basis.
"There are a lot of things Toto will be doing which are complementary to what I am doing in terms of running the team.
"But you have to have one reference. Everybody knows the only way a racing team will work is to have one reference, and I'm that reference.
"I am the team principal and I am in charge of sporting, technical and racing matters."01/22/13 Eddie Jordan - the man who brought you the Lewis Hamilton to Mercedes scoop last year - is at it again, this time claiming the team are set to replace Ross Brawn as team principal.
Less than a day after the Brackley squad confirmed that former Williams man Toto Wolff has joined them as director of motorsport, Germany's Sport Bild claimed that McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe has followed Hamilton from McLaren to Mercedes.
However, BBC F1 pundit Jordan took it a bit further by revealing that team boss Brawn and chief executive officer Nick Fry - the two men who saved the squad when Honda withdrew from the sport after the 2008 season - are set to be replaced.
"Paddy Lowe is going to Mercedes and it would appear that Brawn and Fry are on their way out, and Lowe will be there in a very senior capacity," Jordan is quoted as saying by BBC Sport.
"Lowe won't be technical director; he'll be more senior than that. But he won't be called team principal either," Jordan said, "because that will be Wolff. But Lowe will effectively be running the team on a day-to-day basis."
Wolff talked to the media during a teleconference on Tuesday afternoon, but he didn't give too much away saying "he wants Ross Brawn to stay" but he "can't say anything about Paddy Lowe rumor". Planet F1