Wolff gives Brawn his backing

Mercedes' new motorsport chief Toto Wolff has given Ross Brawn his backing despite reports that the Briton is set to be ousted from his role as its Formula 1 team principal.

According to a BBC report, Mercedes is planning to remove Brawn in favour of a new structure led by Wolff and current McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe.

But Wolff said he had no knowledge of such a plan and wanted Brawn to remain in place.

"I can see the speculation that is coming up, but I think I would be aware of that [if it was going to happen]," Wolff said during a media teleconference.

"Ross is there and Ross is part of the leading team and I hope Ross is going to stay. This is the current situation.

"If you look at Ross's track record, it's fantastic."

Brawn remained as team boss when Mercedes acquired his championship-winning Brawn GP outfit to form its new works team at the end of 2009.

Nico Rosberg gave the new incarnation of Mercedes its first grand prix win in China last year, but the manufacturer has yet to fight for the title.

Erstwhile Mercedes chief Norbert Haug vacated his position last month, saying he had to take responsibility for the F1 squad's failure.

AUTOSPORT understands that Mercedes is in talks with Lowe but that no deal is yet in place.

Wolff refused to confirm whether Lowe had been hired, while McLaren declined to comment on the situation when contacted.

"Paddy Lowe is a recognised person in the paddock and he's been with McLaren for 20 years," said Wolff.

"I read this story in the paper. That is all I can tell you.

"Obviously in Formula 1 there's always a lot of speculation about personnel and people joining and not joining, but there is nothing I can tell you at this stage."

He added that there was "no truth" in reports that Lowe had agreed to join Wolff at the Austrian's former team Williams prior to his Mercedes offer.

Wolff hinted that there may be a change in chief executive officer Nick Fry's position at Mercedes, saying the team is "looking at that situation."

But he insisted he wanted time to understand the current team structure before making any major alterations.

"There are many, many intelligent people and I need to meet them, speak to them, analyse and then make my conclusions," Wolff said.

"There is an organisation in place, and I'd like to work with that organisation."