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Lauda 'trying everything' to keep Brawn at Mercedes
Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda insists Ross Brawn will not make a final decision on his future until after the final race of the season, amid speculation that he has already decided to stand down as team principal at the end of the year.
Rumours about Brawn moving teams or quitting the sport have been rife ever since Toto Wolff joined the team as executive director at the start of the year. Mercedes' current power structure is led by a triumvirate of Brawn, Lauda and Wolff, which has delivered improved results this year despite media speculation about divisions between the three.
Brawn has left his future open, but in recent months hinted that he wants to stay at the team in order to be a part of its future success under the new technical regulations in 2014. However, at the start of the year Wolff introduced McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe to the team as executive director (technical), with the view of having him take over the reins when Brawn decides to step down.
The most recent rumours that Brawn is on his way out were kicked off by BBC Sport's Eddie Jordan on Tuesday, but Lauda stressed that nothing has been decided.
"The speculation is total rubbish," he told the Times. "The situation is absolutely clear: I spoke to Ross a while ago and we agreed that he will come back to me after the final race of the season in Brazil to tell me whether he wants to stay or go.
"I am trying everything I can to encourage and motivate him to stay. I am the one who asked him to stay. I want him to do it but it is not my decision; it is his decision. If he stays, he will be team principal -- nothing else -- or he will retire."
Brawn has made clear he will only stay if he remains the senior "reference" within the team.