Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda has given the strongest indication yet that Ross Brawn won't be with the team next year, but he says he is trying to get him to change his mind.
Paddy Lowe's arrival from McLaren earlier this year was initially rumoured to spell the end of Brawn, but he remains in charge with the former given the title of executive director (technical).
Mercedes, though, have admitted that Lowe will take over as team principal in the long term, but no definite date has been set.
However, Lauda has admitted that Brawn wants to step down at the end of the season, but he is trying to convince him otherwise.
"I talked to Ross on Tuesday and tried to convince him to be there [at the team next year]," he told BBC Sport. "I can't force him. It's his decision but I think I'm making good progress."
Mercedes lost more ground on Red Bull in the race for the Championship this weekend after Sebastian Vettel put in another dominant display and Lauda admits they are now battling for second place.
"We are still fighting, we are continuing to develop the car but I think in the end it will be Vettel and Red Bull. We will try to be second," he said.
"I have to say Ross Brawn and his team have made sensational changes, we were nowhere last year but now have driver and technician changes and we now have eight poles and three wins. We've done a great job from where we came from."
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