Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda is hoping that Ross Brawn will stay on as team principal next year, amid a fresh wave of speculation about his future on Monday.
Brawn has been considering his future for several months now, as he puts together a long-term handover to successor Paddy Lowe. A decision on when that happens has not been agreed yet, however.
A report in Germany on Monday suggested that Brawn had informed Lauda over the Korean Grand Prix weekend that he was actually quitting Mercedes, and it suggested he could even switch to a role with Honda. That has been dismissed, however, with Lauda saying that talks with Brawn continue, and he is still hopeful he can be convinced to stay on board for the crucial 2014 campaign.
“I am in negotiations with Ross Brawn,” Lauda told German media. “There’s no decision on how things will be in the long term.
“That’s the situation. And that’s been the situation for some time. My goal is clearly to retain him, but he will only make the decision at the end of the year.”
The Brawn link to Honda is understandable, with him having worked as team principal for the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last foray in to F1. However, with McLaren having suggested it was poised to sign some “headline-grabbing” technical personnel to bolster its efforts, the Honda links inevitably led to speculation that Brawn could be heading to McLaren. However, high-level sources at McLaren have dismissed any talk that Brawn is on his way there.