Paddy Lowe, Mercedes, Albert Park, Melbourne, 2016

Lowe tipped to leave Mercedes for Williams in 2017

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In the round-up: Following Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement, Mercedes is expected to lose another of its top staff for 2017.

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  • 51 comments on “Lowe tipped to leave Mercedes for Williams in 2017”

    1. Since Lewis said he won’t say anything until after he retires in ten years and what with Rosberg being already retired, it should be safe to say that a Rosberg tell all will hit the shelves before Hamiltons, then ten years further down the line it’ll be all old news.

      1. I mean I don’t see how…a Lewis tell all transcends more than just this season or episode with Mercedes, plus Nico isn’t going to know every personal conversation between Lewis and the bosses.

        Also same goes for Nico his story transcends that of Lewis Hamilton being his team mate.

      2. I bet ros won’t tell.

      3. Something tells me that a man who wins the championship, drops the mic, and walks away from many millions of future income, will not feel the need to publish a tell-all.

      4. None of them has anything to say. Either now or in 10 years time.

    2. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      11th December 2016, 0:18

      Really hope Renult also steal a march on Mercedes. With any luck Renault, RBR, Ferrari and McLaren are able to compete with Merc.

      1. The problem is the Renault are a few tiers behind right now, so maybe 4 to 5 seasons before they have everything in place to at least have a front running season. Mclaren Honda have been doomed since their first pre season test in 2015… they’re going nowhere higher than midfield. Ferrari really don’t seem capable of fighting for higher than the 3rd spot, but they will always fight for podiums.

        Unfortunately, if Merc gets weaker then that would result in Red Bull dominating. I think the best we can hope for in 2017 is a pretty much even performance level from Merc and Red Bull. But honestly, I do not see more teams joining the fight for the WDC and WCC

        1. Just feelings and speculations here as well. @come-on-kubica, @todfod
          I think RBR will be just so slightly ahead of Mercedes next year, with both having their preferred circuits.
          Ferrari will fall a bit further behind RBR and at times have to fight with McLaren for the next positions.
          Williams and Force India are next but find that they have to fight Toro Rosso for a position in the top 10, and the further we go into the season the more Renault will be knocking on their doors.

          But of course I don’t know, and therefore have already booked my ticket to Barcelona at the end of February.

        2. @todfod, you are right about Renault’s progress almost certainly being a lot slower than the original poster might hope for.

          Vasseur expected it would take them five years to build the team back up to the point where it could possibly fight for the championship, possibly even longer than that given that the team turned out to have been in even worse shape than they thought it was going to be when they bought it. At the moment, I think that their baseline target for 2017 is simply to score points on a reasonably consistent basis.

        3. I feel like Renault next year will be a bit like Toro Rosso this year, both drivers sort of fighting for the lower points with one driver (in this case Hulkenberg instead of Sainz) occasionally getting some very good results. I reckon they could be fighting for podiums by 2019, although it all depends. They did start fully working on their 2017 car before anyone else if I’m right in saying though.

    3. Niki has said a lot of things about Rosberg recently since his retirement… I wonder what he’s going to say about Paddy… I’d be a lot more worried about filling Paddy’s seat than Nico’s…

      1. A former Ferrari design leader is said to be his replacement, this leave has well been in the making since Singapore this year.

        1. … that’s an interesting possibility.

    4. Not so easy staying at the top – losing talent is part of the price.
      Merc had their run, now it’s time for another team to dominate – probably RB again.

      1. nah, just PR. They are getting tired of him whining to Lewis to slow down for for Nico. Probably told him to get lost because he makes them look bad over the radio.

        I am afraid its all about looks @ Mercedes, they have no competition, and it’s purely marketing on their part.

        1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
          12th December 2016, 11:39

          @xsavior Wolff gave that order to Lowe, who declined to repeat it a second time.

    5. I’m not surprised to see Lowe leave Mercedes. The three person management had to have someone leave at some point. I also think he wants a new challenge.

      I am very surprised to see him at Williams. I expected he’d be at Ferrari. It’s great news that Williams can get that scalp, hopefully this can allow them to be in serious contention into the future.

      1. Lowe to Williams in exchange for Bottas?

        1. Hamilton supposedly nixed Alonso, Button and Bottas.

            1. It’s *obvious*! I mean, Hamilton has stated, repeatedly, that he doesn’t care who his teammate is, so it’s obvious that an unnamed source to an unnamed poster on the internet would know it’s not true…. :)

              I would be willing to bet the source of that rumor is an unnamed poster on the internet.

            2. Who needs ‘fake news’ sites when you can post anonymously on respected sites.

            3. Lewisham Milton
              11th December 2016, 12:38

    … Source?!

          1. And by supposedly you mean ‘random, unfounded statement I just plucked out of thin air’ I assume?

      2. @ambroserpm Indeed, it wasn’t that successful really, was it?

    6. I don’t understand what is there for Paddy Lowe in Williams. Unless they have some major manufacturer deal lined up, the best they can hope for is to be 3rd, more likely 4th or 5th fastest team. So why going from the team which has resources to compete for the championships, to the team which doesn’t. No matter how good the people in Williams, they just don’t have the money to fight for the championships. The best I can guess, is that Mercedes already has James Allison coming in, and Lowe is just basically given the chance to walk out instead of being pushed out.

      1. what is there for Paddy Lowe in Williams.

        not playing 2nd fiddle (or 3rd)!
        We probably read more about Symonds and Smedley on this site than about Lowe. There is more to life than just winning a cash bonus after winning the WCC.

      2. Having a boss that’s shorter than you? ;) No seriously, maybe now that Frank Williams health seems to be waning, the thought is for Symonds to take over as team principal and Lowe be chief tech officer with both getting a stake in the company.

      3. Biggsy, even 4th or 5th fastest team might become increasingly optimistic for Williams – I would not be surprised if they are back to about 6th or 7th fastest next year.

        @coldfly may make a valid point about wanting to be his own man, but I do agree that Williams does not strike me as a team with particularly good long term prospects. There is a certain nostalgia value about them, but frankly they just aren’t that good any more, even when compared to other independent teams – frankly, when you consider the disparity in resources between Williams and Force India (Williams’s budget is reportedly 50-60% larger), they really shouldn’t have fallen behind Force India in 2016.

        1. Indeed. I regard Williams as the biggest disappointment in Formula One (in terms of team performance), even above Ferrari and McLaren.

          When the new regulations came in they were up there fighting for podiums. They were the ones picking up the pieces when Mercedes failed. One would have expected them to keep going forward but instead slowly but surely they’ve slipped backwards more and more.

          1. @strontium, to be fair, given that Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull all have substantially more resources to draw on, ranging from budget and personnel through to windtunnel and CFD equipment, I think that it was always going to be more of a question of when, rather than if, Ferrari and Red Bull managed to move back ahead of them after first Ferrari and then Red Bull had uncharacteristically weak seasons in quick succession.

            That said, whilst it was a little disappointing to see that happen this year, I am in full agreement with you that, even when compared to some of the smaller teams, Williams really have underperformed. Their chassis design has been fundamentally flawed for the best part of three years now – Mercedes’s engine has masked some of those issues – and they still have not got to the root of their problems in wet weather, despite several years of poor performances.

            Now, they managed to secure 5th place in the WCC this year – if you look at their performance from 2006 (when they lost BMW’s backing and became a fully independent team again) to 2013, it’s still one of their best performances in years (only 2007 was better, but that was a bit of a fluke result).

            However, their long term prospects look questionable when the team still cannot solve persistent long term technical issues and the upcoming regulations shift performance towards aerodynamics, and underbody aero in particular – an area where Williams has been especially poor in recent years.

            I suspect that there is a strong chance that McLaren and Renault will overtake them, and perhaps even Toro Rosso now that they are getting more manufacturer support (via Red Bull and their links to Renault), whilst I expect Force India may stay ahead of Williams too. Even Haas could possibly be a bit of a threat given their access to the Windshear wind tunnel and their extremely early switch to working on their 2017 car.

        2. That’s why hiring good technical people will make the car go faster, Lowe has a good record, Williams, Mclaren, Mercedes and back at Williams he will most likely be number one and can restructure so those extra resources can be better utilized. Having him in the team could also attract other people to join the team. If they show an upward curve of performance it will be a domino affect.

      4. I don’t understand what is there for Paddy Lowe in Williams.

        Williams’ primary financier made him an offer he couldn’t refuse?

    7. There is no more challenge for Paddy. Not with big borther Toto over his back. I can see why he wants to go to simpler place where he has more influence. Ross Brawn was so right. Toto and nicki are not as straight forward as they like us to think.

      1. This.
        Every news outlet saying that the reason of Lowe leaving is about salary. Which doesn’t makes sense.
        There’s must be something else.

        1. @ruliemaulana, the Motorsport website suggested that he might be being offered a stake in Williams, giving him an opportunity to not only manage the team but to also partially own it as well.

      2. @david-beau I do believe it’s always difficult to maintain a good working atmosphere in a trio where the two others (Wolff and Lauda) and the bosses you are reporting to (Zetsche) share a native language you do not speak. Adding to that there were three years of intensive spotlight and the public microscope on the team, which also tends to make working a rather political endeavour. So yes, the general mood in which everydays work is being conducted playing a role in Lowe’s decision wouldn’t surprise me.

    8. Williams and Paddy might be a good combo. Paddy can design basically from 0. They already have the engine now all they have to do is figure out the aero

    9. With this latest talent acquisition, i worry about Force India. I feel Heritage payments allow teams like Williams and McLaren to Just Outspend their Rivals a bit too much. In 2016, FI have outperformed, but somehow in 2017, i feel the odds will catch up with FI.

      1. The odds certainly are stacked against FI. But a key strength in the last two years has been two strong drivers in a solid chassis. Assuming Ocon can deliver, the last bit has to be redone next year.

    10. …in exchange for Bottas? Excellent news in any case; mighty Mercedes lose a key member of their personnel and a team struggling to not to become absorbed by the lower midfield ranks gains one of the most respected names in the paddock. Democratized human resources…

      …or this is an indicator that Mercedes may indeed be leaving the sport in the near future…

    11. Are we witnessing Mercedes slowly desintegrating? Maybe…

    12. I don’t forsee this hurting Mercedes too much. He didn’t have the same role at Mercedes as he had at McLaren, all the crucial people at Mercedes are still there. No doubt Paddy brought some useful technical data with him, Mercedes did seem to get on top of their tyre usage issue pretty quickly after he joined, but he wasn’t pivotal in car design like at McLaren.

      If as the rumours suggest James Allison is making his way to Brackley then the Paddy shaped hole in the team will be quickly plugged.

      In fact, the worst way Paddy could hurt Mercedes would be the technical knowledge he takes with him, and by heading to a midfield team like Williams he’s just saved them from a whole world of hurt they could have felt if he’d gone to Ferrari. He’s potentially even just helped Mercedes with the move because if Williams can get their chassis up to scratch and still have the Mercedes power unit in the back, Ferrari could be under threat for their number 3 position.

      1. Williams won’t be challenging anyone. Their chassis design has sucked and they were lucky when Pastor and the Renault powered (the best power unit then, given the regulations) were on the top step.

        Williams had their chances when Suzi and Toto’s man Bottas were riding the highs of the new Merc power plant, but unfortunately, Toto has had to cut his relationship with Williams, his wife is no longer there, and Mercedes have very little to gain by giving any more advantage to the mid field teams when RBR and Ferrari cannot even hope to keep pace with their car in race trim, made even worse for next year.

        Williams will be staying around the top 10, Renault and Macca will be praying for rain and some luck, power efficiency will destroy the mid fielders and back markers next year, and Sauber + Macca will probably consider leaving F1. Honda has nothing to offer, except excuses, and Honda cannot rewrite the rule book like they do in MotoGP.

        1. Let us revisit this next November then.

    13. I don’t understand, what’s with the big rush to get rid of Lowe??????

    14. Quiet confusing but I can understand his choice, I think it’s better to be with Pat and Rob than Toto and Niki, at least the first two are straight forward characters, for the record Toto said that the team will not interfere in the outcome of the WDC but in the end he did, and to make matters worst he told the press that it was the wrong call, this makes me wonder why a newly crowned champions decides to leave the team.

    15. Considering Williams’ new money man has the deepest pockets in F1 and a burning desire to see his son succeed at that team, I think Williams may well be one of the best places to be in the near future. I agree they’ve been disappointing, but there’s a reason Lawrence Stroll let his son leave Ferrari and de facto bought Williams for him: because they were the best team outside the big four. Yes, Force India had a better season, but he’d have to pump in more money to increase their budget, and help them lay down more infrastructure. Williams wasn’t the richest but also not poor, and it has the basis. Lowe may be very smart in joining a team that, until Lawrence Stroll gets bored, will be wanting for nothing.

      1. Italics did not work for me as I intended

    16. Shocker! I’d love to know why? Maybe he wanted to be the top man. The challenge is an appealing one. Williams haven’t wom a championship since 97, to go there and turn around a fallen giant would be a great feat. Williams need another push forward. They’ve leapt into the midfield, now they need to kick on again

    17. No one want to work with Hamilton it seems.

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