Ross Brawn is to leave the Mercedes team on Dec. 31, handing the reins to Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe.
The team said that the following “an extended period of open discussion between the team’s key stakeholder Ross has chosen to hand over the team leadership to Executive Director (Business) Toto Wolff and Executive Director (Technical) Paddy Lowe.”
It remains to be seen whether Brawn has plans to go elsewhere, although rumors persist that he could yet return to Ferrari.
Brawn said: “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.
“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 organization 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 organization we have built at Brackley. 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 said: “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. Toto and Paddy are the right people to lead our team in 2014 and beyond.”
Daimler boss Dr Dieter Zetsche added: “Last winter, we restructured the management of our Formula One activities, with the support of Niki Lauda. 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.”
Formula 1, Mercedes, Ross Brawn