Mercedes drivers want Brawn to stay

Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:10pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

SUZUKA, Japan (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg hope Mercedes principal Ross Brawn will stay with their Formula One team next season despite media speculation that the Briton could be headed elsewhere.

"The internet is just rumors but for sure there are discussions ongoing, Ross has said, with the team," German driver Rosberg, winner in Monaco and Britain this year, told reporters at the Japanese Grand Prix.

"For me, it would be great if he stays because I get on well with him and I think he's a great team principal.

"At the same time I have confidence in the team leadership's ability to make sure we have a solid future whatever his decision is because we have a lot of great strength in the team now as it is."

Reports emerging in Germany after last weekend's Korean Grand Prix suggested Brawn had informed the team's non-executive chairman Niki Lauda that he would be leaving at the end of the season.

Some have speculated that the Briton could end up at Honda, whose team he led before it became the title-winning Brawn GP and then Mercedes, when they return as engine partners to McLaren in 2015. McLaren sources have dismissed such talk.

Lauda subsequently told German media that he was in negotiations with Brawn and no decision had been taken.

"My goal is clearly to retain him, but he will only make the decision at the end of the year," the Austrian was quoted as saying.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One team principal Ross Brawn looks on during the first practice session of the German F1 Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racing circuit, July 5, 2013. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach