McLaren tech chief joins Merc

2013-05-21 07:52

LONDON, May - Lewis Hamilton will be reunited with Paddy Lowe sooner than expected. Mercedes has announced that the former McLaren technical chief will join the Formula 1 team in June 2013.

Lowe has been appointed technical director and will start on June 3 2013, the same week as the Canadian GP.

An agreement was reached with McLaren for Lowe to be released from the remaining seven months of his contract.


Lowe will work with team principal Ross Brawn, the man he could one day replace, though the latter retains overall responsibility for technical and sporting matters.

McLaren already put Lowe on "gardening leave", removing him from sensitive work, with Tim Goss being promoted to technical director. The team announced that it would switch from Mercedes to Honda engines in 2015.

Lowe's arrival at Mercedes, which signed 2008 World champion Hamilton in 2012, had been flagged since January 2013 when reports indicated that he was being lined up as Brawn's replacement.

Brawn said: "I'm delighted to welcome Paddy to the team. He has an excellent record of success in the sport and would be an asset to any of our rivals in the pits lane.

"It is no secret that every team is facing a significant balancing act from 2013 to 2014. 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 engne. 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."

The rules will change significantly in 2014: new 1.6 turbocharged V6 engines with energy recovery systems replacing the current 2.4 V8's.


Mercedes already has a long list of former team technical directors working for them, while Toto Wolff is executive director for business and head of Mercedes' motorsport programme.

Brawn, Bob Bell, Geoff Willis and Aldo Costa were all previously technical directors at other teams and Lowe makes it a quintet on a Mercedes payroll that also includes outspoken former champion Niki Lauda as non-executive chairman and shareholder.

Lowe said: "The team has already produced probably the fastest car of 2013 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 will relish. I've worked closely with Mercedes-Benz for almost 20 years and deeply admire the company's phenomenal commitment to Formula 1. I look forward to much success together in the years ahead."

Mercedes has been on pole for the previous three races but has had problems managing tyres with Hamilton slipping from second on the grid to 12th at the last race in Spain. Hamilton and team mate Nico Rosberg will however be among the favourites at the 2013 Monaco GP where overtaking is difficult and the driver starting on pole has a considerable advantage.

Stay with us for the 2013 Monaco Grand Prix.