In a move widely predicted in the last fortnight, Mclaren technical director Paddy Lowe has jumped ship from the Woking-based team to Brackley rivals Mercedes. The 51 year-old had been head-hunted by Mercedes Motorsport director Toto Wolff, who himself only joined the German squad from Williams in January.
While Mercedes management will no doubt be delighted with snaring such a prized designer from their sharp-end rivals, one man who will be less than enamoured with the announcement is Ross Brawn; the brains behind the 2009 fairytale rescue of the demised Honda squad appears to be the verge of his very last season with the silver arrows before Lowe takes his post in 2014.
Neither Brawn or Lowe would be drawn on the point today, but it is believed the (now ex) Mclaren man will take a 12-month ‘gardening leave’ period and take no further part in racing activities during the forthcoming season.
Mclaren will be concerned with the sudden departure of their chief designer; Lowe was largely responsible for the design of the MP4-28 and his absence will hurt their understanding of the new machine. Having taken an ‘all-out’ mentality in their approach to the new car to sustain development over the course of the season, Mclaren’s development path may now be less clear, with the man who mapped it gone from the picture.
More to follow
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