Mercedes has confirmed that its head of aerodynamics Loic Bigois is to leave the team - amid speculation that he is on his way to Ferrari.
Bigois has been at the Brackley-based team since its Honda days in 2007, but has elected to move on as the result of a restructuring of the technical department.
Team principal Ross Brawn said technical director Geoff Willis is to assume a more senior role in aerodynamics, and other reshuffling of staff meant Bigois had to take on a revised position that he did not want.
When asked by AUTOSPORT about the situation, Brawn said: "Loic has been a really important member of the team for a number of years but we have had an internal reorganisation.
"Perhaps, with some of the restructuring we have done, it didn't fit in with what he was hoping to do, so he asked to be released from his contract and we released him. He is going somewhere else at the end of the year."
He added: "We wanted to move forward in the way we organised the aero group and Geoff Willis is in charge of that group now. We wanted to do things differently, and Lois did not want to do the new role that we proposed for him, so it was by mutual agreement."
Despite speculation that Bigois is to take a role in the wind tunnel department at Ferrari, the Maranello-based team has insisted that no deal is in place with the Frenchman.