Jan.25 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Bernie Ecclestone has backed the changes taking place at Mercedes.

Earlier, beleaguered team boss Ross Brawn played down claims the F1 chief executive may be playing a role in the power struggle, as Austrians Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff reportedly pull their weight against Brackley’s old guard including Brawn and Nick Fry.

Asked about the shakeup, Ecclestone – holidaying in Kitzbuhel, Austria – told Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper: “I hope it means that Mercedes is much stronger.

“I trust that the new team leaders Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff … it’s new people with new ideas.

“Mercedes has the best engine, strong drivers, enough budget — I would be disappointed if they are not at the front,” the 82-year-old added.