McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh says Paddy Lowe will remain with the team this year
Long-term future of Technical Director still uncertain though
By Mike Wise
Last Updated: 31/01/13 3:48pm
Lowe, McLaren's Technical Director, was a glaring absentee at the launch of their MP4-28 - the car whose design and production he has overseen.
Two weeks ago, Lowe was linked with a move to Mercedes as part of a plan to replace their Team Principal Ross Brawn. Brawn subsequently admitted that they had spoken to Lowe but insisted he remains in charge in Brackley.
If Lowe is indeed to head up Mercedes in the long term alongside the German manufacturer's new motorsport boss Toto Wolff, then there was nothing Whitmarsh said on Thursday that suggested it wouldn't eventually happen.
For now, though, he remains in Woking.
"One certainty is that Paddy will be part of the team for another year. It's less certain - as has been speculated in the media - beyond that but I'm sure it's something we'll have some certainty on in the near future," Whitmarsh said.
He added that Lowe had specifically asked not to attend the launch.
"Clearly there's a lot of media interest," Whitmarsh said. "I think it's good that Paddy concentrates on doing his job. I don't think he wants to create any embarrassment to the team or to any of his colleagues. So at his own election, he felt it was not appropriate to be here."