Paddy Lowe, McLaren

McLaren confirm Lowe to leave at end of year

2013 F1 season

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Paddy Lowe, McLarenMcLaren’s technical director Paddy Lowe will leave at the end of the year, the team has confirmed.

Tim Goss has taken over from Lowe “with immediate effect”. Lowe has been linked with a move to Mercedes and is expected to join them in time for the 2014 season.

Lowe joined McLaren in 1993 and has been the team’s technical director since 2011.

Goss has been with McLaren since 1990 and was responsible for the team’s MP4-23, MP4-25 and MP4-27 cars, which scored a total of 18 Grand Prix victories, as well as this year’s MP4-28.

“I’d like to offer my congratulations to Tim on his new position, which, after more than 20 years of exceptional service for McLaren, he richly deserves,” said team principal Martin Whitmarsh.

“It’s a little-known fact, for example, that over the past 23 years he’s made crucial technical and engineering contributions to the winning of five of McLaren’s 12 drivers’ world championships and three of McLaren’s eight constructors’ world championships, and that he’s been the principal definer and developer of McLaren’s F1 car design function for more than five years.”

“I firmly believe that our technical and engineering team is the best in the F1 business,” he added, “and that its strength in depth has always been and will continue to be an important element of our on-track success.”

Whitmarsh said Lowe “will be performing a different role within McLaren until the end of the year”. “We wish him well when he embarks on a fresh challenge in 2014.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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84 comments on “McLaren confirm Lowe to leave at end of year”

  1. Another chef enters the kitchen.

    1. firstLapNutcaseGrosjean (@)
      25th February 2013, 17:16

      omg , “he choosed the money instead of performance”. Haha..

    2. Yeah and that Chef is not the one depicted here…..

  2. Please some one bring Ross Brawn back to Ferrari.

  3. Well that’s the worst secret in F1 confirmed. That’s going to put the squeeze on Ross Brawn although I’m sure he won’t be short of offers from other teams. If I were Frank Williams I’d be straight on the phone.

    1. So I guess there’s no such thing as a RUMOR this days it’s just unconfirmed leaks

  4. This is good news. I was starting to worry there might not be enough technical directors at Mercedes next year.

    1. Hahahaha :D

    2. Do we actually know that he’s going to Mercedes? Nope. All we know right now is that he’s leaving McLaren. Everything else is a speculation at this point. Unfortunately over 90% of the commenters treat it as a fact.

  5. Wow, just wow. Merc’s really putting up a dream team ala Ferrari back in the 90s. I’m loving that thought!

  6. Just what Mercedes need, another technical director. How many is that now ? Too many cooks and all that ?

    1. There may be ‘too many cooks’ but at this rate there won’t be any cooks left anywhere else, maybe that’s the plan – make everyone else’s 2014 cars so bad through an absence of key technical staff that they’re bound to win?

      1. Very true ! If but if he’s at McLaren this year surely he’ll be involved in the 2014 development ? Honest question I’d be keen to know how it works as he could have some real inside data on the 2014 McLaren.

        1. I’m pretty sure this is why Tim Goss has taken over his old job.

          Paddy Lowe is too talented to waste, but he will probably be used in McLaren’s road car division for the rest of the year – or anywhere else where he can’t follow the F1 development.

        2. No he certainly will not, the 2014 rules will be in place for several years and the worst thing that McLaren can do is let Paddy work on a concept only to go to another team with all the secretive developments. Think about it a few years ago would Red Bull have let someone leave to another team having worked on the car that won all those championships, probably not. I say Paddy will probably work on the road car instead, and be at Merc by singapore, if not earlier, remember McLaren still needs Merc engines :)

          1. Lowe has a contract running till the end of the year at McLaren, he will join Mercedes only in 2014, not mid 2013.
            Otherwise what you say makes a lot of sense though.

          2. @BasCB true he does, but teams do allow people to leave early, Im not certain but I believe pat fry left early for ferrari and Im certain that Sam Michael was allowed by Williams to leave early as well. I think they let them leave so that they dont accidentally cram any information about the new car. If Paddy stays he might now some details about 2014 car that unless McLaren erase his memory he can transfer to Merc. But you never know his important so they might not let him leave early

          3. I think Paddy already knows some details of the 2014 car that they have been planning @manu, but there is no better way to prevent him from helping Mercedes out with their 2014 car than to have him “take care for the rosebushes” at McLaren for another year so any advice he might have comes too late to be of any use to them.
            What is different here than in the contracts you mentioned, is that Paddy is not handing in his resignation, he is just confirming that he will not seek renewal of his contract at the end of the year.

        3. Although Lowe won’t be joining Mercedes till the end of 2013 he has effectively left McLaren right away. Basically he has been let go but told he can’t work for anyone else till the end of the season…. good luck policing that!!

      2. Yes, the thought occured to me too @jerseyf1, a bit like Juventus, AC Milan, Barcelona have done in the past (and Real Madrid still does) to buy a lot of players and have them on their bench, more to be sure they don’t play elsewhere then for using them in the team!

    2. I think they have more engineers than NASA…

      1. If they can’t make it with Bob Bell there is no one to help them.
        Just to spur my imagination, it would be great to see Bob at McLaren, but I have a feeling that he dislikes them for some reason. The rumour was that Martin would like to see James Allison instead of Paddy Lowe.
        My wish is to see Bob back to Enstone. That would be marvelous!!!

  7. Another sign that Mercedes are slowly but surely accruing critical mass, and in a couple more years will topple Red Bull from the top of the pile? Or more importantly a sign that the cracks are starting to show at Mclaren?

    1. Critical mass can easily lead to meltdown :D

    2. McLaren should be very worried!

      1. Worried for Paddy?

  8. After reading this, I couldn’t resist whipping this up!

    1. As much as I love a good meme, the image should be of Rosberg maybe? Even Hamilton is one of the most recent additions to the team that likes to hoard it’s possessions… sadly not it’s points however, yet.

    2. Guess it’s now a COOL thing to move to Mercedes:D

  9. I’m not sure where all these people are getting the idea of the fact that there is too many technical directors at Mercedes or that this means Ross Brawn will leave. Each role is different from company to company, and often titles will involve different work from what occurs somewhere else.

    My role in my company is quite a variance on what other people with my job title do and so is my colleagues but we effectively operate in the same sphere but on different aspects but the title is similar, it just works. This is what I imagine is happening here.

    1. @georgetuk
      exactly – and ross brawn has stated as well that as long as everyone has and knows his responsibility, everything will work.

    2. +1

      I was hoping to get some insight from the article as to how important/talented Paddy Lowe is – can anyone advise me how strong an addition he is?

      Why was Ecclestone saying Brawn was going to leave? Seems to e he’s a genius.

      1. I mean, can we really know who has the most positive influence in such large, secretive engineering teams?

    3. Exactly, as I recall McLaren had Pat Fry, Paddy Lowe, Tim Goss, and who knows who else they had who were all technical directors but they still did well. My guess is that some of the other fellows will go and maybe Ross may remain. Paddy doesn’t really like to act as a team principle so I don’t see him doing that.

  10. I know there are a lot of technical directors going to mercedes, but surely they are aware of what their role will be before they make the decision so I can only see it as a good thing!

    1. I agree Aled, they all understand how it is and will work, they are all intelligent people after all!

      1. Exactly! and there are some good people there…it takes time for them to have an effect but I think we will start seeing progress there now! Hope so anyway as hamilton fan!

  11. So THAT is how Mercedes plans to win in formula 1 !!!!!!! All they need now is James Allison , Newey and Key, and they will have all the top design people. This must have been their strategy as soon as they realized they couldn’t build a decent car themselves, just prevent other teams from making good cars!!!

    What a devious plot ……..

    Seriously though mercedes…this is retarded….

    1. Same thing occurred to me haha, are they trying to become stronger simply by making sure teams can’t employ the people they’re recruiting.

    2. all they really need is newey haha but they cant get him

    3. @melkurion – hahaha, +1! They aren’t getting Newey anytime soon me thinks though ;)

      1. @vettel1
        Lowe > Newey. ;-)

        1. @kingshark – the constructor’s titles suggest otherwise ;)

          1. @vettel-1
            Lowe is better at designing a quick car without manipulating regulations, like Newey does all the time; which makes me think he’s a more humble an modest sportsman. :-)

  12. I would love to play a hand of poker with Martin Whitmarsh.

    Now, expections are going to massive for 2014 for Mercedes. More engineering talent now than NASA, a WDC in the car and a designer who knows his needs I’m sure this is all costing them a pretty penny so I’m sure that the backers in Stuttgart will not be looking for a Toyota/Honda situation.

  13. Well, well, well.If I was Mercedes and had deep pockets I would raid other teams for all their tecnical gurus too. Doesn’t neccessarily Mercedes will fully utilise all the brain power they have stripped from orther teams, or indeed need to, as the other teams will be weakened without the likes of Lowe anyway – just a case of eliminating the competition!

  14. The Mercedes technical department is starting to remind me of the Super Friends.

    1. @robk23 I was thinking of expendables 1 and 2

  15. Woah, the cafeteria at Brackley will be crowded next year ! They’ll have to buy an island to fit everyone there.

  16. I think Steve Matchett did a good job of summarizing Ron Dennis’s probable views on this latest development:

    “This increase of inter-competition divergence of McLaren’s senior technical human resources is negatively compatible with our optimality.”

  17. I believe Lowe’s new role evolves the up keep of the lawns and shrubbery at MTC

    1. That certainly sums up the definition of gardening leave @brownerboy lol

  18. It always makes me smile how they (especially Whitmarsh) put spin on these storylines. If Tim Goss is so good and have provided such good service and insight into so many championships then why the hell has it taken 26 years for McLaren to recognise him in this role he so deserves. Typically too many cooks spoil the broth.
    Cue yet another year of optimism tainted with operational errors robbing them of championships. Being a McLaren fan is perfectly parallelled with being an Arsenal fan.

  19. Andrew Benson ‏@andrewbensonf1
    Lowe story now updated with Brawn expected to leave

  20. Hahaha Mclaren fans are mad.

    1. you meant furious?

      1. Yes. I notice the ambiguity haha.

        1. And the bad use of the word.

          1. You mean incorrect, erroneous.

    2. Mercedes ones aren’t… :D

      1. Mercedes has fans?

  21. Key strategy for Mercedes is to be sure other teams are with no options because Mercedes have hired every Technical Director.

  22. So another mclaren high profile senior personell leaves eh… Alright, lets see who’s next I wonder. We all.know over the years mclaren have lost key guys to other teams

  23. I liked the suggestions that Mercedes is trying to win in 2014 by making sure other teams will be left without key personnel, but then I thought, what if it is the other way around? What if top teams worry about Mercedes dominance, and so made a pact to sneak some of their own into key positions in Mercedes? If this theory is right, we will be soon hearing about one person from Ferrari and one from Red Bull going to mercedes :-).

    1. Brilliantly Machiavellian.

  24. I can’t imagine what Lowe will be doing at Mercedes.

    At this point, I suspect they’ll just be paying all the established technical directors to not work for other teams, rather than paying them to work for Mercedes.

  25. Question: are there any restrictions on spending now that the RRA has collapsed?

    Follow-up: would spending a lot of money on technical staff mean that Mercedes had to spend less on car development?

    1. I’m sure staff are paid from the ‘Mercedes AMG HQ bank account’ rather than the F1 divisions budget. This would avoid any clashes. The restrictions agreement was a bit lack luster anyway. It’s no cooincidence the Red Bull Technology Centre (not affliated directly with the F1 team as far as I know) is located across the street pretty much from the F1 factory… you just know things will be getting researched in there and simply carried across to the factory.

  26. The last time that Jenson Button was in a team that was falling apart , he won the championship. Someone should have brought Rubens back.(I like that person).

  27. What if they refuse to renew the engine contract they could eliminate a key competitor. easuer to beat 2 than 3.

  28. IMO I dont think McLaren have quite the same level of commitment to F1 since Ron left to head their road car division..they seem to prefer selling on Mondays than winning on Sundays..

  29. There are some very clued up Kiwis and Aussies, who would just love a design and manufacturing career with McLaren …. No shortage of future talent waiting on an opportunity … Go McLaren 2014 … put in the hard yards and have belief … Id be a bit ****** off if Merc was robbing my cradle of knowledege, but there is allways more talent coming along, and McLaren has without doubt given more opportunity to young drivers / designers and all others, than any other team I can think of, and on a budjet that is a lot less than some teams out there.

  30. Okay so we have the following now: Ross Brawn, Toto Wolff, Aldo Costa, Nick Fry, Bob Bell, Geoff Willis and now the great Patty Lowe…

    That is quite the group of engineers, and it better work for as much money as they are putting up, I don’t think even Ferrari’s dual corp. of engineers working on both cars at the same time will do the trick. I feel Merc GP is a bigger powerhouse and finally realized the true main key, engineers. The driver is important too, but as Brawn GP showed us two solid drivers in an amazing car can do wonders just long enough to clinch the WDC and WCC. I feel Brawn can get back to that with this group of people, and the only reason we have so many is due to them actually building both cars at the same time so I don’t think we will see a diminishing return.

  31. Oh hell yeah! Newey yet not extended his contract with the Red Bulls,did he? Haha.. ;) I mean half of the paddocks technical heads are now in Mercedes.Now I wouldn’t be surprise if Niki does a voodoo to bring back Charles Darwin and create a Big Bang for the Mercedes team in the near future.. :) I mean @keithcollantine is this the first team to have such a variety of proven technical heads altogether?

    But on a more serious note,it would be interesting to see how the likes of Costa,Willis,Brawn and now Paddy(Oh lord!) will create an eatable dish for Nico and Lewis.

    1. @ambikm

      Now I wouldn’t be surprise if Niki does a voodoo to bring back Charles Darwin and create a Big Bang for the Mercedes team in the near future

      You’ve got your scientists mixed up: it was Edwin Hubble who came up with the big bang theory and Charles Darwin is credited with the theory of evolution! ;) I see your point though, but he may be better to use his voodoo powers to bring back Colin Chapman and Gordon Murray, although the latter would be rather annoyed at the restricted creativity!

      1. You’ve got your scientists mixed up: it was Edwin Hubble who came up with the big bang theory and Charles Darwin is credited with the theory of evolution! ;)

        @vettel1 We all know Armstrong to be the first person to land on the moon,we hardly remember or speak of Aldrin,isn’t it? ;) And yes Murray would be a lot frustrated now.

  32. Given the number of “technical / operational” issues which have been so readily debated last season don’t forget that this change at the top and internal promotion, however unwelcome, will give an opportunity to restructure and address other unspoken issues.
    If they seize the opportunity and manage it properly it may prove a good thing for Mclaren. A corporation like them will have a succession plan and the managed loss of key personnel should not be such a disaster – corporate life goes on.

  33. Interesting comments from Whitmarsh, like he’s saying to Mercedes “enjoy your London Bridge, we know you meant Tower Bridge but we’re keeping that thanks!” LOL!

  34. Since September we have all debated the wisdom of Lewis Hamilton’s decision to drive for Mercedes in 2013 instead of McLaren. Many people on this site, and F1 drivers and commentators also, have suggested that Hamilton has made a terrible decision by leaving McLaren.
    One has to wonder however, as to Paddy Lowe’s reasons for leaving? Now here’s a man who has been at McLaren for two decades, has worked with many drivers over the years and helped the team attain success. He is also a man who has seen alot and understands the sport and its politics. Yet he has also decided to join Mercedes Benz, a team many believe will struggle like pigs this year with no deifinitive proof to suggest that 2014 will be any better.
    Cast your mind back several years, didn’t McLaren have Adrian Newey building their cars before losing him to a team not many people rated that highly? Ofcourse that team was Red Bull and they have triple drivers and constructors championships under their belts due largely to Newey’s efforts to boast. Yet again we see a trend, and the trend is more and more talent moving away from McLaren. And they are long standing, highly skilled employees to boot who won’t be easy to replace.
    We all saw the effect the departures of Ross Brawn and Jean Todt had on Ferrari for example. Its not easy, even for the Scuderia, to replace men like these with that much know-how. Its easy to look at Red Bull now and think, rich buggers, but the fact remains that at one stage less than a decade ago they were Jaguar without a pot to pee in or a window to throw it out.

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