If poaching McLaren’s star driver Lewis Hamilton wasn’t enough, Mercedes has now lured the British team’s technical director Paddy Lowe.
Lowe has been at Woking since 1993 and held the role of technical director since 2011, which will now end at the end of the current season as the Briton has opted to pursue a “fresh challenge”, strongly speculated to be at Mercedes.
The move is a big blow for McLaren as Jenson Button had pointed out last year when he had suggested that Hamilton’s exit would be nothing compared to the departure of the team’s technical head.
"I'd be disappointed if Paddy Lowe moved from the team because that's the guy who's going to help me achieve in the future,” Button was quoted saying by Autosport last year. "Whereas with Lewis, drivers come and go and people change, and that's pretty normal in the sport."
In the pre-season tests so far, McLaren is not only struggling with the tyres [REPORT] but also with its new car, which Button has questioned. [REPORT]
Director of engineering Tim Goss has been promoted at the British team as a replacement for Lowe, who will now be performing “a different role within McLaren until the end of the year”.
“It’s a little-known fact that over the past 23 years (Goss) has made crucial technical and engineering contributions to the winning of five of McLaren’s 12 drivers’ world championships and three of McLaren’s eight constructors’ world championships, and that he’s been the principal definer and developer of McLaren’s F1 car design function for more than five years,” team principal Martin Whitmarsh said about the new appointment.
“In line with what Tim has said, I firmly believe that our technical and engineering team is the best in the F1 business, and that its strength in depth has always been and will continue to be an important element of our on-track success,” he added.
Goss has been with McLaren since 1990.
Title credit: Kate Walker