Rosberg plays down Brawn latest departure reports

(L to R): Toto Wolff (AUT) Mercedes AMG F1, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 and Ross Brawn (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 Team Principal with the new Mercedes AMG F1 W04. Mercedes AMG F1 W04 Launch, Jerez, Spain, Monday 4 February 2013.
(L to R) Toto Wolff, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Ross Brawn with the new Mercedes AMG F1 W04.

Nico Rosberg has played down suggestions that team principal Ross Brawn is on the road to the exit door at Mercedes.

Earlier, it was believed Paddy Lowe’s McLaren ‘gardening leave’ was because he was shaping up to replace Brawn as Mercedes’ team boss, probably in 2014.

But in the wake of better results for the Brackley based team, and strong backing by new driver Lewis Hamilton, it has been rumoured 58-year-old Briton Brawn’s job now appears safer.

Nico Rosberg had a tough race in Bahrain, finishing just ninth, but 24 hours earlier he was grinning ear-to-ear after qualifying on pole.

A week earlier, it was Hamilton on pole and the podium in China.

Asked if the atmosphere in the team is strained now that Brawn appears destined to leave, German Rosberg told Die Welt newspaper: “That’s what you say.

“I know nothing about that,” added the German, who was also asked about Lowe’s certain appointment.

“So why should I assume that he (Brawn) will not be here anymore after the season?” said Rosberg.

The 27-year-old did admit, however, that “the joy of the pole is gone” after a race struggling with Pirelli tyre wear in Bahrain.

“On our own power, we are, I believe, not yet capable of winning,” said Rosberg. “But all of us believe that we will get there.”