Lewis Hamilton will turn up for his first public duties as a representative of his new Formula One team only to discover they are mired in speculation. Within 24 hours of moving into an executive position at Mercedes, Toto Wolff was forced to deny on Tuesday that Ross Brawn, one of the sport's most successful figures, was about to be ditched as team principal to be replaced by Paddy Lowe, McLaren's technical director.
As the internet was stoked by the characteristic shock tactics of Eddie Jordan, the former team owner, Hamilton's new outfit were only able to issue a response to the welter of stories that Brawn was about to be levered out of the team he has commanded for more than four years, saying they were "highly speculative".
Wolff denied that he was trying to recruit Lowe, thought to have just a year left on his contract at McLaren, although there was no formal denial from the McLaren team's headquarters in Woking, Surrey.
"I can see the speculation that is coming up, but I think I would be aware of that (if Brawn was to be fired)," said Wolff. "Ross is there and Ross is part of the leading team and I hope Ross is going to stay. This is the current situation. If you look at Ross' track record, it's fantastic."
Rumours about Brawn's position have bounced around the F1 paddock for months without anyone taking them seriously.
Jordan, however, went on record claiming Mercedes wanted Brawn out because of the poor performances of the past three seasons, which have brought only a single victory.