Ross Brawn will stand down as principal and leave the Mercedes Formula One team at the end of the year, Mercedes said in a statement on Thursday (November 28).

The Briton, who turned 59 last week, will hand over his responsibilities to executive directors Toto Wolff (business) and Paddy Lowe (technical) and formally leave the British-based team on Dec. 31.

The official announcement ended one of the longest running sagas of the season, with speculation surrounding Brawn's future since before the championship started in March.

"The most important consideration in my decision to step down from the role as team principal was to ensure that the timing was right for the team in order to ensure its future success," Brawn said in the statement.

"The succession planning process that we have implemented during this year means we are now ready to conduct the transition from my current responsibilities to a new leadership team composed of Toto and Paddy."

His departure will bring change for drivers Lewis Hamilton, Britain's 2008 world champion with McLaren, and Germany's Nico Rosberg although the succession has been widely discussed and Brawn's successors have had time to work themselves in.

Brawn is one of the most successful and respected figures in the sport after winning a string of world championships with three different teams.

Presented by Adam Justice