New Mercedes motor sport boss Toto Wolff has denied speculation that Paddy Lowe might be joining the company’s F1 team.
In a teleconference with British journalists he said: “I think Paddy’s a recognised person in the paddock, he has been with McLaren for 15 or 20 years, and I’ve read it in the paper, that’s all I can tell you. Obviously in F1 there’s always a lot of speculation about personnel or people joining or not joining. There’s nothing I can tell you at that stage. I’ve read it like you have read it.”
Asked if there was any truth in suggestions that he had tried to get Lowe to Williams before the Mercedes opportunity arose, he said: “It’s borderline to argue like this – there is no truth in it.”
He also denied suggestions from Eddie Jordan on the BBC website that Ross Brawn could be eased out of the team.
“This is speculation that is coming up in some of the media. I think I would be aware about that – it’s all speculation. Ross is there, he’s part of the leading team, and I hope Ross is going to stay as long as possible. So this is the current situation.”
He also pointed out that he had not yet been to Brackley and still had a lot to take on board.
“I need to sit down and understand the structure. It would be foolish to come in and speak about replacing anybody.”
Regarding how his new Mercedes role came about, Wolff confirmed that things have moved fast – and that the approach did not come from Niki Lauda.
“It has happened pretty quickly, actually. I have been involved with Mercedes since many years in DTM, so I have known people and all the company for quite some time. But actually things turned out to progress pretty quickly – so a couple of weeks at the maximum.
“It started because we are joined DTM with a conversation about the situation of Mercedes in F1. It wasn’t Niki.”