Mercedes motor sport boss Toto Wolff continues to insist that the much touted arrival of Paddy Lowe in 2014 is still not a done deal.
McLaren has already confirmed that Lowe is leaving at the end of the year – even officially wishing him well in his new challenge in a press release – but there has been no confirmation from Mercedes.
Ross Brawn confirmed at the Jerez test that Lowe would come on board if he left, indicating that the latter would fill the team principal role. However, given that the arrival of Lewis Hamilton and the challenge of the turbo era are massive motivational factors for Brawn, it’s hard to imagine that he would want to leave any time soon.
However sources have suggested that there could now be scope for Lowe to work with Brawn, alongside fellow ‘star names’ Bob Bell, Aldo Costa and Geoff Willis.
“Well obviously that situation is not perfect,” Wolff said of the ongoing saga. “We’ve discussed it and said Ross is the team principal, he’s running the racing team, and this is how it’s going to stay. We haven’t even started the 2013 season. We feel right working together, we have a good spirit internally, and Paddy Lowe coming or not is just so far ahead it makes no sense to talk about it now.
“It’s too early to say that he’s coming. This is a complex process, it’s not just that you hire somebody and that’s it, off you go – discussions are ongoing. Paddy is a good guy. It’s about fitting someone in the organisation, so it’s not yet done.”
Lowe is still employed by McLaren, but is apparently only rarely seen at the factory. Team sources say that he could yet be asked to spend some time working in the road car division while his contract runs out.