The highly respected Paddy Lowe has been given the role of technical director at McLaren, a job title that has not been used since the departure of Adrian Newey at the end of 2005. Meanwhile chief engineer Tim Goss takes on the role of director of engineering.
It’s not always easy for outsiders to work who does what in the design and engineering process, so it’s best to refer to McLaren’s own description of what the changes mean: “Paddy will continue to lead our technical strategy in his own quietly authoritative way, but his new role will afford him even greater levels of focus as he will be spearheading new and innovative technical projects relating to our Formula 1 future. He’ll also continue to represent the technical aspect of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes within FOTA and with the FIA.
“Paddy’s broader remit means that Tim Goss, our chief engineer on MP4-25, will assume a larger role within the car development programme. As a result, Tim now becomes McLaren Racing’s director of engineering.
“Underpinning them both is Neil Oatley, a McLaren veteran who joined the team in 1986, and continues in his role as director of design and development programmes. Neil will set and execute many of our top-level projects as well as working tirelessly to bring new projects and upgrades to our cars.”
So now you know! Since the departure of Newey Lowe – who joined in 1993 – has become an increasingly important member of the team.
“It’s great for Neil and me to be joined by Tim as another director on the technical side,” he said in a McLaren statement. “With the three of us, we’ll not only be able to more efficiently spread our workload, but, through Tim and me, we’ll also share race attendance.
“It’s very important to have senior technical management at the racetrack, because that’s where you score the points, but, equally, if you spend all your time away then you risk overlooking some of the hard work that happens back at the factory.”
Goss explained: “I used to be jointly responsible for the direction of our cars with Pat Fry. Now I’ve taken on both roles – but there’s obviously been some shifting of responsibilities within the team as, clearly, I can’t do the work of two people.
“As director of engineering, my role will be to co-ordinate a small team of project engineers who are responsible for the specification, design and development of our cars.”