PARIS, Nov 28, 2013 (AFP) - Ross Brawn will step down from his position as Mercedes team principal at the end of the year, the German Formula One outfit confirmed on Thursday, ending months of speculation.
The 59-year-old is one of the longest-serving figures in modern Formula One but it remains unclear whether he will retire from the sport or join another stable such as Ferrari in 2014 or McLaren-Honda in 2015.
The English engineer largely contributed to the seven world titles won by Germany's Michael Schumacher at Benetton and then Ferrari.
He then joined Honda F1 as team principal in 2007, buying out the team and renaming it Brawn GP, going on to win the world constructors' championship and drivers' title double in 2009 with Jenson Button.
Runners-up in the world constructors' championship this year behind Red Bull, Mercedes will now be run by joint executive directors - Austrian Toto Wolff in charge of business and Ireland's Paddy Lowe overseeing the technical side.
"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, who will formally leave the team on December 31.
"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."
In a media statement, the Brackley based team said the 58-year-old, to officially depart Mercedes on the last day of the year, "has chosen to hand over" the reigns to Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe.
"We have had long discussions with Ross about how he could continue with the team," said chairman Niki Lauda, "but it is a basic fact that you cannot hold somebody back when they have chosen to move on."