Mercedes have announced that Paddy Lowe, technical director at the team has left with immediate effect amid ongoing speculation on his future.
After three years at Mercedes, where he won three World Drivers and Contractors championships with the team, Lowe is expected to move to Williams, although a deal has yet to be confirmed. Mercedes would only confirm he would have ‘a period of gardening leave’, after the British technical guru fell out of the contract window with the team, which would allow a fast move to Williams.
“Paddy has played an important part in our success during the past three and a half years and we thank him for his contribution to this significant chapter in Mercedes’ motorsport history,” said Toto Wolff, Head of Motorsport at Mercedes.
“Success in Formula One is not about single individuals but about the strength in depth and technical capability of an organisation. We have the talent in place to continue our success of recent years and we plan to build upon it in 2017 and beyond.”
Rumours have placed James Allison at Mercedes as a direct replacement for Lowe. He left Ferrari early in the season last year, and is coming to an end on his gardening leave.
Lowe is reported to be heading to Williams as Team Principal, with Claire Williams taking more of the reins from her father as President. Sir Frank was in hospital for part of the year which stopped her from being a races, amid a downturn in performance at team. Following the departure of technical boss Pat Symonds at the end of last season, it was thought Paddy Lowe could be a direct replacement. That however doesn’t look to be the case, with highly rated James Key from Toro Rosso taking that position.