Paddy Lowe is no longer McLaren’s technical director. Hot on the heels of reports the 50-year-old has been placed on ‘gardening leave’, the British team announced that long-time McLaren engineer Tim Goss has replaced Lowe.
“The great mystery is no more,” Tobias Gruner, the correspondent for Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, said. “The only thing missing is the official confirmation.”
He is referring to speculation Lowe will almost certainly be joining Mercedes after his ‘gardening leave’.
McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh said: “He’s been a good and successful F1 technical director, and we wish him well when he embarks on a fresh challenge in 2014.”
Whitmarsh’s comment will increase speculation Lowe has been drafted by Mercedes to replace team boss Ross Brawn.
“I cannot officially say anything,” Niki Lauda, Mercedes’ new shareholder and executive chairman, told Reuters. “If Paddy Lowe is coming or not, I cannot tell you now … (but) Ross is in his position and will stay in his position. Everything is under control.”
Prior to the news about Lowe’s ‘gardening leave’ breaking, Brawn told F1’s official website on Monday: “I am responsible for the sporting side; running the team on an operational level.
“If we can maintain that then there will not be a problem.”
A report in the UK newspaper Express said confidently: “Brawn feels his status has been undermined and will not hang around the new regime.”