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A defiant Ross Brawn has rubbished media speculation that he is to be pushed aside at Mercedes in favour of Paddy Lowe, the Englishman insisting that he remains in charge of the sporting and technical aspects of the Brackley-based outfit.
In a week that has seen Toto Wolff leave Williams for the German team, but retain his shareholding in the Grove outfit, it was further claimed that Brawn, who moved to Brackley in 2008 when it was home to Honda, would be dumped in favour of Lowe who would, according to the BBC, run the team on a "day-to-day basis".
Speaking at Brackley today, where the German team was hosting a media event not only to calm the speculation but to introduce Lewis Hamilton, Brawn was keen to kill off the rumours.
"I am the team principal and I am in charge of sporting, technical and racing matters," he said. "Toto is coming in and that's a whole other side of the business that I don't want to get involved in.
"I don't want to get involved in, on a day-to-day basis, the commercial activities," he continued, "and I don't want to get involved with the support we need to give Daimler on a day-to-day basis.
"There are a lot of things that Toto will be doing that are complimentary to what I'm doing in terms of running the team," he added, "but you have to have one reference. Everybody knows that the only way a racing team would work is to have one reference, and I'm that reference."
Confirming that Mercedes has had talks with Lowe, Brawn said: "I know the situation completely. Mercedes want 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. So we have to have things in place.
"It's like my succession plan at Ferrari," he continued. "When I decided I was going to stop at Ferrari, we built a succession plan and I am part of that, I've talked to Paddy, we know the situation. I'm planning on being here for a very long time.
"I know all the plans for the future of the team and I hope I'm going to be a part of it for a very long time. We're entering a very exciting period and obviously Lewis joining us was a massive catalyst for us all, a massive incentive and motivation, I think we are seeing the maturity of the plans we made 12 months ago.
"This car has been a project led by Aldo," he added, referring to former Ferrari designer Aldo cost who joined Mercedes in 2011, "and I think he's done a fantastic job. I'm really excited by that, and like any of us in life, if we are excited by what we do we want to carry on doing it and so that's what I want to do."
The Englishman admitted concern that the media hyperbole of recent days could actually set the team back. "I think it's a bit disappointing that it's got into the media, because that's disturbing for the team. I want our guys focused completely on doing the best job they can for the coming season.
"It's a really exciting time here and Lewis is now spending some time here at the factory and there's a huge buzz about the place for the coming season. That's what we want to maintain and unfortunately those things are in the nature of the business, but they are distractions for people and I have to do the best that I can to make sure people don't get distracted."
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