I'm in charge at Mercedes, Brawn insists
24 January 2013 – Ross Brawn has categorically stated that he remains in charge of the Mercedes Formula 1 outfit, hitting out replacement rumours which followed Toto Wolff's appointment as the Executive Director of the Mercedes-Benz motorsport division.
Brawn, who addressed the gathered media at the team's factory in Brackley on Thursday, says there is absolutely no substance to the speculation and has reiterated his desire to remain a leading member of the Silver Arrows for 'a very long time'.
"I am the Team Principal," Brawn explained of the situation. "I am in charge of sporting, technical and racing matters. I know all of the plans for the future of the team and I hope that I'm going to be a part of them for a very long time. We are entering a really exciting period, I know the situation completely.
"Mercedes wants a long-term commitment. And obviously, with a lot of additions I want to see how things go before I make a final long-term commitment. I'm planning on being here for a very long time. We have our difficult days but it's a really exciting period. The car is coming together well; we have set some tough tasks over the winter and we are meeting them."
Meanwhile, new Mercedes man Lewis Hamilton says he has ‘been assured’ by Brawn that he will be staying put for many seasons to come and is not currently aware of any plans to bring McLaren Technical Director Paddy Lowe to the squad.
"As far as I'm aware there are no plans to bring Paddy here," Hamilton said. "I've been assured by Ross that his commitment is long-term and that he's here to try and win with me. This reassures me and gives me a positive feeling going forward. There are a lot of great people here.
"It's important in any team to have a head figure who leads the way and can inspire everyone to go that extra distance. If I've got any problems or if I hear any whispers then I can just give him (Brawn) a phone call, which I do and he sets me straight.
"Everything feels really positive to me. It's important that the guys are always analysing and seeing what can be improved. It's important to me that they're prepared to do whatever they need to do to win."
Hamilton will race alongside former karting team-mate Nico Rosberg this season, the man who claimed the sole Mercedes victory of 2012 at the Chinese Grand Prix.