Could Paddy Lowe be set to follow Lewis Hamilton out of McLaren to Mercedes?
German paper suggests Technical Director is heading to Brackley
By Pete Gill and Mike Wise
Last Updated: 22/01/13 11:03am
Lowe has been part of the Woking outfit for almost 20 years, but is reputedly set to become the latest in what is now a long line of high-profile signings for a Mercedes team apparently intent on ripping up established pecking order.
Reports that Lowe could be poised to follow Hamilton and Toto Wolff in joining the Brackley-based operation - now headed by a management triumvirate of Wolff, Niki Lauda and Team Principal Ross Brawn - were first filed by Bild, the German newspaper which is in serious jeopardy of giving newspapers a reliable name.
Having predicted both Wolff's defection from Williams and the exit of Timo Glock from Marussia on Sunday night, both events came to pass early on Monday morning. Now the publication is claiming that, having already tried to sign Lowe for Williams, Wolff is attempting to lure him to Mercedes in order bolster a technical department already swelled by the captures of Aldo Costa from Ferrari and Bob Bell from Renault in recent years.
When contacted by Sky Sports on Tuesday, a McLaren spokesman declined to comment.
Were the overtures to prove successful, signing Lowe would represent a substantial coup for a team already undergoing a rapid transformation. It is arguable, however, that the repercussions would be more keenly felt at a McLaren team still reeling from the loss of Hamilton and an error-strewn 2012 campaign.
The team haven't won a title since Hamilton's last-corner triumph in 2008 and while the loss of Lowe wouldn't have any short-term implications - their new car is due to be unveiled in a week's time - it would add fuel to the suspicion that, were Mercedes to make their long-awaited breakthrough, McLaren could be the first team to feel the backlash.