Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn is set to leave his position at the end of the current Formula 1 season, according to Andrew Benson and Eddie Jordan at BBC Sport.
Brawn’s Mercedes team currently sits in second place in the Constructors’ Championship with three races to go.
Benson and Jordan report that Brawn and Mercedes failed to reach an agreement on the Englishman’s role within the team ahead of next season.
Brawn GP, the outfit for which Jenson Button drove when he clinched his one and only world title back in 2009, was purchased by Mercedes in 2010. The plan had been for Brawn to oversee the initial transition period, but Mercedes ended up keeping him at the helm for longer than it had originally planned.
But now things have changed, as Benson and Jordan explained:
Mercedes believe a single team principal is an outdated concept given the complexities of modern F1.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 another role that did not involve the day-to-day running of the team.
Early reports suggested that Brawn was happy to remain with the German manufacturer but that he wanted to retain complete control.
He said earlier in the season he would walk away if he was no longer “top dog”—per the Press Association via the The Guardian—and it would appear that is what has materialised.
Hope Ross Brawn isn't lost to F1. Incredible engineer, great people person. If this is his final few races...congrats on a great career...— Jake Humphrey (@mrjakehumphrey) October 29, 2013
With just three races remaining—Abu Dhabi, United States and Brazil—Brawn will stay in his current role for the remainder of the season.
Going forward, Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe will be expected to work together to run the team with Lowe to guide it—per Benson and Jordan.
Mercedes has had a disappointing season by its own high standards. The team currently trails a rampant Red Bull by 157 points in the standings and is just four clear of Ferrari in third.
Team drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are fourth and sixth in the individual standings, respectively.
Brawn’s next move is not yet known, but according to Benson and Jordan he has been linked with both Honda’s new F1 programme and with the FIA, the sport’s governing body.
After directing Michael Schumacher to seven world titles at Benetton and Ferrari before playing a major part in Button’s championship-winning year, the offers are sure to come flooding in.