Date: 28th November 2013 at 10:16am
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The speculation throughout the year was after all correct.

Ross Brawn has announced that he will leave the Mercedes AMG Formula One team at the end of the 2013 calendar year.

Before the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship had even begun rumours began to emerge that Ross Brawn’s days at the team were numbered.

At the start of the season it was thought that Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda and Mercedes sports boss Toto Wolff had intended to remove Brawn from his role following the addition of Paddy Lowe to the team.

Lowe began his new role as executive director (technical) in June after leaving McLaren as technical director.

The eventual plan appeared to be that Lowe would run the sporting and technical side of the Mercedes AMG team alongside Aldo Costa, Bob Bell and Geoff Willis as senior technical staff. Toto Wolff would then run the business and political side of the team.

But midway through the season Lauda and Mercedes had a change of heart and decided that they did want to keep Brawn on after all.

Lauda insisted that the decision was solely down to Brawn as to whether he stayed with Mercedes or left the team at the end of 2013.

Brawn held talks with Mercedes for several months towards the end of the latter half of the season, but it became clear that the new management model being adopted by the German manufacturer was a stumbling block and Brawn made his feelings public at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Shortly after that race it was reported that while not official, Brawn had opted to leave Mercedes come the end of the year, with Mercedes refusing to comment until now.

‘Following an extended period of open discussion between the team’s key stakeholders, Ross has chosen to hand over the team leadership to Executive Director Toto Wolff and Executive Director Paddy Lowe,’ the team said in a statement to Sky Sports.

While Ross Brawn told the BBC: ‘The most important consideration in my decision to step down was to ensure the timing was right for the team in order to ensure its future success,’

‘The succession planning that we have implemented during this year means we are now ready to conduct the transition from my current responsibilities to a new leadership team composed of Toto and Paddy.’


He concluded that he felt that Mercedes were now ‘uniquely positioned to succeed in 2014’ and that he was ‘proud to have helped lay the foundations for that success’.

Brawn has been linked with moves to Honda, McLaren, Williams and Ferrari, while the Brit has also not ruled out leaving Formula One altogether.

 

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