Lowe to start work at Mercedes in two weeks’ time

2013 F1 season

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Mercedes have confirmed former McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe will begin work for them on June 3rd.

Lowe’s departure from McLaren was announced in February. They originally planned to release him from his contract at the end of the year. But they have now agreed terms with Mercedes for Lowe to start working for them next month.

His job title will be executive director (technical). He will work alongside Toto Wolff, who occupies the corresponding role for business activities, and team principal Ross Brawn.

Lowe said: “The team has already produced probably the fastest car of the 2013 season while the technical challenges of the new regulations for 2014 will give us the opportunity to maximise the synergies available to a works manufacturer. That is a challenge I am relishing.”

“I have worked closely with Mercedes-Benz for almost 20 years and deeply admire the company’s phenomenal commitment to Formula One. I look forward to much success together in the years ahead.”

Brawn said he was pleased to have secured the services of Lowe, who “would be an asset to any of our rivals in the pit lane”.

He said Lowe’s arrival would help the team prepare for the new technical regulations that come into force in 2014:

“It is no secret that every team is facing a significant balancing act between this year and next. But it is perhaps less obvious that we will also see major changes for the 2015 and 2016 seasons, as development progresses with the new generation of car design and power unit.

“To deliver in these circumstances, a successful team needs strength in depth. Paddy’s arrival will further strengthen our organisation and puts us in a strong position for the future.”

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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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43 comments on “Lowe to start work at Mercedes in two weeks’ time”

  1. Well if Mclaren-Honda was the worst kept secret, then this was the second worst-kept secret. What is the next sure thing?

    1. Bernie’s guilt hopefully.

      1. kenneth Ntulume
        21st May 2013, 12:15

        C’mmon be nice to Bernie, he has brought f1 to a screen near you!

        1. Stationary Orbit Satellites are what brings F1 to a screen near us, Bernie is the guy that makes it to expensive to air without fees or massive commercial interuption.

  2. There are a lot of cooks around that Mercedes broth. Either they will be untouchable or they will deliver a slightly over-meddled car, but from the progress from last year to this you have to say they are on an upward trajectory. I just hope Brawn’s role is safe.

    1. @cornflakes I think the instruction from the Mercedes board was “BUY ALL ZE TECHNICAL DIRECTORS, THEN ZEY CANNOT COMPETE WITH US”.

      Bascially they’re buying all the competition so there is no competition, although they haven’t got Newey yet!

      1. @vettel1

        they haven’t got Newey yet

        Never too late. Although I can’t see why no-one’s thinking about Allison moving to Mercedes, since he’s probably the next best behind Newey…

        1. @keeleyobsessed the rumours are he’s going to Ferrari, but honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if he went to Mercedes…

      2. Well if you’ve got the resources then it’s one way of producing a good car! I can’t see Newey going anywhere, i think he would relish the challenge of taking on a number of top designers and beating them all. He’s too far involved with RB now, especially with their success.

  3. My first reaction to this is a bit of a disappointment, because I think it shows that McLaren is in deep excrement, if they were forced to make a compromise this big. I really can’t wait for Honda and McLaren partnership to start because I really hope it will get them back some focus. Mercedes on the other hand is a team for which I really have no sympathy or affection.

  4. What’s Bob Bell’s title now, then? “Non-executive Technical Director (non-Directional)”? And Aldo Costa is “Technical Director (technical engineering directions)”? Geoff Wills is “Technological director of engineering technicalities”?


    Love the quote from Brawn

    Brawn said he was pleased to have secured the services of Lowe, who “would be an asset to any of our rivals in the pit lane”.

    “any offers for his services welcome”.

    1. Maybe that’s their secret tactic- buy up all the talent just so that nobody else has any at all.

      1. Which, as a graduate looking for a dream job in F1, where jobs are hard to come by, suits me perfectly.

      2. The Man City of F1, except at least Man City won the FA Cup-… oh wait, they are the Man City of F1.

        1. The Blade Runner (@)
          20th May 2013, 13:08


    2. Brawn is Team Principal, Aldo Costa is Engineering Director, Geoff Willis is Technology Director and (currently) Bell is Technical Director. With Lowe’s title sounding alarmingly (if you are Mr. B. Bell) similar to that of Technical Director, you have to wonder what Bell’s role is going to be going forward.

      1. I think Bob Bell’s exit is on the cards now. A return back to Enstone perhaps??

        1. old man got no use in modern F1.

          Enstone got better after getting rid of him.

  5. Mclaren release him earlier in return for a 1 year merc A spec engine deal in 2014. Win win situation for both

    1. Sorry, but McLaren would be using the same engines as Mercedes next year even if they didn’t let go of Lowe early. The rules dictate that customer teams have to use the same specification of engine as the works team. There is no such thing as a “B-spec” engine.

      1. Wasn’t there talk a few years back about engines being allocated by a sort of lottery system whereby the manufacturer makes them but the FIA then decides which engines go to which team (when a manufacturer supplies more than one team or has a factory team with one or more customer teams) ?

        So, for example, Mercedes makes 48 engines numbered 1-48 and the FIA then picks 1-16 for Force India, 17-32 for Mercedes and 33-48 for McLaren (although they’d probably pick a more random selection) to try to ensure the engines were as equal in performance as possible.

      2. @prisoner-monkeys What I do think is that while there is no “A-spec”, 2014 Mercedes engines will have A price to McLaren. So perhaps releasing Paddy early means McLaren still get free engines for the final year of their partnership.

        1. Maybe, but with the team struggling this year, perhaps they saw releasing Lowe as the catalyst their technical stand-up needed.

          1. That should read “shake-up”, not “stand-up”.

        2. @journeyer, not free engines, but ones priced at a multi year deal i suspect.

  6. The Blade Runner (@)
    20th May 2013, 12:01

    Toto Wolff has been quoted as saying the following with regard to losing McLaren as a customer:

    “It is of course not ideal when you lose a customer, especially when it’s someone like McLaren, who have been with Mercedes for so long and celebrated great successes with us,”

    “So of course it’s unpleasant, but it’s a decision they’ve taken. We also look forward to having another competitor in F1 — Honda is a top brand and, as the saying goes, competition is good for business,”.

    How he expected to maintain any sort of relationship with McLaren is beyond me! Mercedes lured McLaren’s best driver and now their Technical Director. You can’t have your cake and eat it as the saying goes.

    I try to be as open-minded as possible when it comes to F1, its teams and their drivers as I’m of the opinion that it makes the races far more enjoyable than just looking out for your favourite driver/team and then pulling your hair out when they don’t perform. Having said that, I have struggled to warm to RB for the same reasons as many and I am beginning to feel the same way about Mercedes. They have shown a distinct lack of class in their off-track dealings which is becoming increasingly wearing. I suspect that if they jettison Ross Brawn, which looks to be on the cards, many F1 fans will lose patience with them completely.

    1. How he expected to maintain any sort of relationship with McLaren is beyond me!

      Perhaps by offering McLaren the best engines on the grid from 2014.

    2. I find it ridiculous, just reading those comments coming from Totto. I mean, I know that he heads their F1 program now, but he has absolutely 0% to do with anything related to McLaren-Mercedes partnership. I mean, not only that he is part of Mercedes F1 program for less than half a year at the moment, but he hasn’t been part of F1 for more than 2 years or something like that.

      I know it’s his job to put out those press jugglers, but it just sounds so absurd. I mean, Mercedes moved away from McLaren-Mercedes works partnership even before Totto came to F1, hence, reading him talking about regretting that they will go the separate ways, I just can’t take him seriously. :)

      1. The Blade Runner (@)
        20th May 2013, 14:49

        I’m struggling to take Mercedes seriously…!

  7. Mercedes, the Real Madrid (Galacticos) of Formula 1 technical Directors .

    1. @sergio-perez You’re just bitter they stole your only hope of winning a race this year…

      1. Well, there’s always the Playstation. Or maybe Top Gear to break the record…

  8. “To deliver in these circumstances, a successful team needs strength in depth. Paddy’s arrival will further strengthen our organisation and puts us in a strong position for the future.”

    With Brawn, Bell, Costa, Willis and now Lowe, saying that Mercedes have strength in depth has to be the biggest understatement in the history of time.

    1. I don’t think there’s ever been such a high-profile line-up at one team: all I wonder is how much this has cost them (Hamilton and all the technical directors)!

      Is it just turning into another spending war I wonder…?

      1. That line up is getting close to matching the team of Todt, Brawn, Byrne & Schumacher, if they can match the improvements made by Ferrari after putting that team together maybe Mercedes could be the team to beat in 2015 :-)

  9. Given the car he delivered for McLaren this year, it’s no wonder they are happy for him to join Mercedes ASAP. Probably hoping he will sabotage Merc as well.

    1. The MP4-28 is not a Paddy Lowe Car. It was designed under Tim Goss’s leadership.

  10. …the opportunity to maximise the synergies…

    Ron Dennis has trained him well! It’s a good point he makes though, which could be read as a dig at his old employers, the customer team that’s splitting up with Mercedes.

    What are the changes for 2015 & 16 that Ross Brawn mentions? Has anything been made public yet? They’re certainly “perhaps less obvious” to me.

  11. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    21st May 2013, 12:58

    Paddy Lowe resembles a Tolkien character.

  12. Did McLaren reckon they had no secrets this year worth Lowe’s time taking with him? ;)

  13. Only the best and brightest talents graduate from Vodafone Mc Laren Mercedes, graduates are virtually guaranteed employment upon Completion of their Course. Do I need to even mention some of their previous graduates,
    Chuck Norris for starters…

  14. I hear Newey wants to design some boats next. And we know he likes to wreck a nice vintage race car on the weekends. So I predict that the MB Aufsichtsrat will resolve to incorporate Newey Yachts GmbH and disgorge a couple vintage race cars from the company museum for Newey’s disposal, so to speak. Provided of course, he agrees to stay 1 mile from the city limits of Milton Keynes, England at all times.

  15. …synergies *shudder*

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