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Brawn to step down as team principal at Mercedes 28 Nov 2013

Ross Brawn (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd9, German Grand Prix, Practice, Nurburgring, Germany, Friday, 5 July 2013 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W04 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, 24 November 2013 (L to R): Paddy Lowe (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 Executive Director (Technical), Ross Brawn (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 Team Principal, and Toto Wolff (AUT) Mercedes AMG F1 Director of Motorsport at the Mercedes AMG F1 end of season photo.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, 24 November 2013 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, United States Grand Prix, Qualifying, Austin, USA, Texas, Saturday, 16 November 2013 Ross Brawn (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 Team Principal and Niki Lauda (AUT) Mercedes AMG F1 Non-Executive Chairman.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, 24 November 2013 Ross Brawn (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 Team Principal celebrates on the podium with the Constructors trophy.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race Day, Hungaroring, Hungary. Sunday, 28 July 2013 Race winner Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W04 crosses the line.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Race Day, Silverstone, England, Sunday, 30 June 2013 Ross Brawn (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Preparations, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, 21 November 2013 Ross Brawn (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd9, German Grand Prix, Qualifying, Nurburgring, Germany, Saturday, 6 July 2013

Ross Brawn will step down from his position as team principal at Mercedes at the end of 2013, it was announced on Thursday.

Brawn, whose future at the Brackley-based squad had been the subject of considerable speculation in recent months, has chosen to hand over the team leadership to executive director (business) Toto Wolff and executive director (technical) Paddy Lowe.

"The most important consideration in my decision to step down from the role as team principal was to ensure that the timing was right for the team in order to ensure its future success,” said Brawn, 59.

"The succession planning process 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.

"Mercedes-Benz has invested significantly in both the personnel and infrastructure at Brackley and Brixworth. Thanks to the one-team approach we have implemented between the two facilities, the team is uniquely positioned to succeed in 2014 and I am proud to have helped lay the foundations for that success.

"However, 2014 will mark the beginning of a new era in the sport. We therefore felt this was the right time to simultaneously begin a new era of team management to ensure that the organisation is in the strongest possible competitive position for the years to come.

"We can take pride not just in our on-track achievements but also in the organisation we have built at Brackley,” he added. “In its different guises over the past six seasons, this team has delivered some of the most memorable moments of my career. Our second place in this season's constructors' championship is an important milestone on the road to championship success.

"I am confident that the future will hold just as much success for the team and will take real pride in having played my own part in those achievements."

Niki Lauda, Mercedes’ non-executive chairman, hailed Brawn’s contribution to the team:

"First of all and most importantly, we must say thank you to Ross. When you consider the step that has been made from finishing fifth in 2012 to the second place that we have secured this season, he has been the architect of this success. He put the plans in place to recruit key people since early 2011, and the performance this season shows that the team is on the right track.

"We have had long discussions with Ross about how he could continue with the team but it is a basic fact that you cannot hold somebody back when they have chosen to move on. Ross has decided that this is the right time to hand over the reins to Toto and Paddy and we respect his decision.”

According to Dr. Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz cars, the management restructure that took place in January of this year means that the Brackley team are well placed to cope with Brawn’s departure:

"Last winter, we restructured the management of our Formula One activities, with the support of Niki Lauda,” he said. “The first step was to convince Toto Wolff to join us to run our Mercedes-Benz motorsport activities and our Formula One company. The second step was the recruitment of Paddy Lowe during 2013.

"This gave us a clear succession plan for the time when Ross decided to step down from his current role, and that time has now come. I have every confidence that Toto and Paddy will build on Ross' good work and that they possess exactly the balance of skills required to lead our team to world championship success.

"I would like to personally thank Ross for the calm authority with which he has led our works team since 2010, for his crucial contribution to our team's development and also for the undoubted share he will have in our future success. It has been a pleasure working with him over the past four years and I extend all my very best wishes to him for the future."

Brawn won multiple world titles with Benetton and Ferrari before becoming team principal at the then Honda team in late 2007. When the Japanese manufacturer pulled out of Formula One racing at the end of 2008, Brawn acquired a large share of the team, which was renamed Brawn GP. The squad scored a famous double in 2009, winning the drivers’ championship with Jenson Button and seeing off Red Bull in the race for the constructors’ title.

When Brawn GP was sold to Mercedes in late 2009, Brawn retained his team principal role and subsequently guided the Silver Arrows to their first victory as a fully-fledged F1 manufacturer since 1955 when Nico Rosberg won in China in 2012.

Though Mercedes won a further three races under Brawn’s stewardship in 2013, the appointments of Toto Wolff as executive director and Niki Lauda as non-executive chairman, and the arrival of Paddy Lowe from McLaren as executive director (technical), led to continued media questioning about the Englishman’s long-term future with the team.

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