Ross Brawn has dismissed suggestions that he could return to Ferrari should things go sour at Mercedes.
The Brackley-based squad's decision to bring in Paddy Lowe as executive director (technical) led to reports that Brawn could be on his way out before the season is up. It also fuelled speculation that Brawn could move back to his old stomping ground at Maranello.
However, Mercedes insist he remains the man in charge and he will only hand over full responsibility to Lowe when the time is right, while Brawn says a return to Ferrari was never on the cards.
"To be frank, I never spoke to Ferrari about a possible return. I have wonderful memories of the time I spent at Maranello and I love Italy so much that I'll be in Forte dei Marmi [where he owns a home] next week," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"But I am happy to be at Mercedes, we are doing a great job. Paddy Lowe's arrival does not change my situation because I have a different role in the team."
He added: "One of the secrets of success in racing is stability: we at Mercedes we are competitive again thanks to a job that started 18 months ago."
Asked whether they can challenge for the title this season on the back of their three wins from five races, he replied: "We have a medium-term project for an assault on the title. For us this is a year of transition in which we have to put everything in place ahead of 2014, when we will have the new turbo engine.
"But if there is an opportunity to win the title, why not try? However, it remains very hard because Red Bull are always competitive and Sebastian Vettel does not make any major mistakes. "
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