McLaren confirm Lowe to leave at end of year

2013 F1 season

Paddy Lowe, McLarenMcLaren’s technical director Paddy Lowe will leave at the end of the year, the team has confirmed.

Tim Goss has taken over from Lowe “with immediate effect”. Lowe has been linked with a move to Mercedes and is expected to join them in time for the 2014 season.

Lowe joined McLaren in 1993 and has been the team’s technical director since 2011.

Goss has been with McLaren since 1990 and was responsible for the team’s MP4-23, MP4-25 and MP4-27 cars, which scored a total of 18 Grand Prix victories, as well as this year’s MP4-28.

“I’d like to offer my congratulations to Tim on his new position, which, after more than 20 years of exceptional service for McLaren, he richly deserves,” said team principal Martin Whitmarsh.

“It’s a little-known fact, for example, that over the past 23 years he’s 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.”

“I firmly believe that our technical and engineering team is the best in the F1 business,” he added, “and that its strength in depth has always been and will continue to be an important element of our on-track success.”

Whitmarsh said Lowe “will be performing a different role within McLaren until the end of the year”. “We wish him well when he embarks on a fresh challenge in 2014.”

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84 comments on McLaren confirm Lowe to leave at end of year

  1. Calum (@calum) said on 25th February 2013, 15:50

    Another chef enters the kitchen.

  2. Aimal (@aimalkhan) said on 25th February 2013, 15:51

    Please some one bring Ross Brawn back to Ferrari.

  3. Mattj99 said on 25th February 2013, 15:51

    Well that’s the worst secret in F1 confirmed. That’s going to put the squeeze on Ross Brawn although I’m sure he won’t be short of offers from other teams. If I were Frank Williams I’d be straight on the phone.

  4. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 25th February 2013, 15:52

    This is good news. I was starting to worry there might not be enough technical directors at Mercedes next year.

  5. ScuderiaVincero (@scuderiavincero) said on 25th February 2013, 15:52

    Wow, just wow. Merc’s really putting up a dream team ala Ferrari back in the 90s. I’m loving that thought!

  6. D (@f190) said on 25th February 2013, 15:54

    Just what Mercedes need, another technical director. How many is that now ? Too many cooks and all that ?

    • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 25th February 2013, 17:59

      There may be ‘too many cooks’ but at this rate there won’t be any cooks left anywhere else, maybe that’s the plan – make everyone else’s 2014 cars so bad through an absence of key technical staff that they’re bound to win?

      • D (@f190) said on 25th February 2013, 19:16

        Very true ! If but if he’s at McLaren this year surely he’ll be involved in the 2014 development ? Honest question I’d be keen to know how it works as he could have some real inside data on the 2014 McLaren.

        • Alex (@smallvizier) said on 25th February 2013, 21:19

          I’m pretty sure this is why Tim Goss has taken over his old job.

          Paddy Lowe is too talented to waste, but he will probably be used in McLaren’s road car division for the rest of the year – or anywhere else where he can’t follow the F1 development.

        • No he certainly will not, the 2014 rules will be in place for several years and the worst thing that McLaren can do is let Paddy work on a concept only to go to another team with all the secretive developments. Think about it a few years ago would Red Bull have let someone leave to another team having worked on the car that won all those championships, probably not. I say Paddy will probably work on the road car instead, and be at Merc by singapore, if not earlier, remember McLaren still needs Merc engines :)

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 26th February 2013, 8:26

            Lowe has a contract running till the end of the year at McLaren, he will join Mercedes only in 2014, not mid 2013.
            Otherwise what you say makes a lot of sense though.

          • @BasCB true he does, but teams do allow people to leave early, Im not certain but I believe pat fry left early for ferrari and Im certain that Sam Michael was allowed by Williams to leave early as well. I think they let them leave so that they dont accidentally cram any information about the new car. If Paddy stays he might now some details about 2014 car that unless McLaren erase his memory he can transfer to Merc. But you never know his important so they might not let him leave early

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 26th February 2013, 11:36

            I think Paddy already knows some details of the 2014 car that they have been planning @manu, but there is no better way to prevent him from helping Mercedes out with their 2014 car than to have him “take care for the rosebushes” at McLaren for another year so any advice he might have comes too late to be of any use to them.
            What is different here than in the contracts you mentioned, is that Paddy is not handing in his resignation, he is just confirming that he will not seek renewal of his contract at the end of the year.

        • Edz101 (@eddieb101) said on 26th February 2013, 12:13

          Although Lowe won’t be joining Mercedes till the end of 2013 he has effectively left McLaren right away. Basically he has been let go but told he can’t work for anyone else till the end of the season…. good luck policing that!!

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 26th February 2013, 8:25

        Yes, the thought occured to me too @jerseyf1, a bit like Juventus, AC Milan, Barcelona have done in the past (and Real Madrid still does) to buy a lot of players and have them on their bench, more to be sure they don’t play elsewhere then for using them in the team!

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 25th February 2013, 20:26

      I think they have more engineers than NASA…

      • Boomerang said on 25th February 2013, 22:00

        If they can’t make it with Bob Bell there is no one to help them.
        Just to spur my imagination, it would be great to see Bob at McLaren, but I have a feeling that he dislikes them for some reason. The rumour was that Martin would like to see James Allison instead of Paddy Lowe.
        My wish is to see Bob back to Enstone. That would be marvelous!!!

  7. Tom (@newdecade) said on 25th February 2013, 15:54

    Another sign that Mercedes are slowly but surely accruing critical mass, and in a couple more years will topple Red Bull from the top of the pile? Or more importantly a sign that the cracks are starting to show at Mclaren?

  8. PieLighter (@pielighter) said on 25th February 2013, 16:00

    After reading this, I couldn’t resist whipping this up!

    • Nick.UK (@) said on 25th February 2013, 16:36

      As much as I love a good meme, the image should be of Rosberg maybe? Even Hamilton is one of the most recent additions to the team that likes to hoard it’s possessions… sadly not it’s points however, yet.

    • Jason (@jason12) said on 25th February 2013, 18:22

      Guess it’s now a COOL thing to move to Mercedes:D

  9. GeorgeTuk (@georgetuk) said on 25th February 2013, 16:13

    I’m not sure where all these people are getting the idea of the fact that there is too many technical directors at Mercedes or that this means Ross Brawn will leave. Each role is different from company to company, and often titles will involve different work from what occurs somewhere else.

    My role in my company is quite a variance on what other people with my job title do and so is my colleagues but we effectively operate in the same sphere but on different aspects but the title is similar, it just works. This is what I imagine is happening here.

    • andrewf1 (@andrewf1) said on 25th February 2013, 17:37

      exactly – and ross brawn has stated as well that as long as everyone has and knows his responsibility, everything will work.

    • Switchbacker (@switchbacker) said on 26th February 2013, 1:55


      I was hoping to get some insight from the article as to how important/talented Paddy Lowe is – can anyone advise me how strong an addition he is?

      Why was Ecclestone saying Brawn was going to leave? Seems to e he’s a genius.

    • Exactly, as I recall McLaren had Pat Fry, Paddy Lowe, Tim Goss, and who knows who else they had who were all technical directors but they still did well. My guess is that some of the other fellows will go and maybe Ross may remain. Paddy doesn’t really like to act as a team principle so I don’t see him doing that.

  10. I know there are a lot of technical directors going to mercedes, but surely they are aware of what their role will be before they make the decision so I can only see it as a good thing!

  11. melkurion (@melkurion) said on 25th February 2013, 16:18

    So THAT is how Mercedes plans to win in formula 1 !!!!!!! All they need now is James Allison , Newey and Key, and they will have all the top design people. This must have been their strategy as soon as they realized they couldn’t build a decent car themselves, just prevent other teams from making good cars!!!

    What a devious plot ……..

    Seriously though mercedes…this is retarded….

  12. I would love to play a hand of poker with Martin Whitmarsh.

    Now, expections are going to massive for 2014 for Mercedes. More engineering talent now than NASA, a WDC in the car and a designer who knows his needs I’m sure this is all costing them a pretty penny so I’m sure that the backers in Stuttgart will not be looking for a Toyota/Honda situation.

  13. Well, well, well.If I was Mercedes and had deep pockets I would raid other teams for all their tecnical gurus too. Doesn’t neccessarily Mercedes will fully utilise all the brain power they have stripped from orther teams, or indeed need to, as the other teams will be weakened without the likes of Lowe anyway – just a case of eliminating the competition!

  14. robk23 (@robk23) said on 25th February 2013, 17:03

    The Mercedes technical department is starting to remind me of the Super Friends.

  15. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 25th February 2013, 17:37

    Woah, the cafeteria at Brackley will be crowded next year ! They’ll have to buy an island to fit everyone there.

  16. I think Steve Matchett did a good job of summarizing Ron Dennis’s probable views on this latest development:

    “This increase of inter-competition divergence of McLaren’s senior technical human resources is negatively compatible with our optimality.”

  17. Brownerboy (@brownerboy) said on 25th February 2013, 18:22

    I believe Lowe’s new role evolves the up keep of the lawns and shrubbery at MTC

  18. 370HSSV (@370hssv) said on 25th February 2013, 18:25

    It always makes me smile how they (especially Whitmarsh) put spin on these storylines. If Tim Goss is so good and have provided such good service and insight into so many championships then why the hell has it taken 26 years for McLaren to recognise him in this role he so deserves. Typically too many cooks spoil the broth.
    Cue yet another year of optimism tainted with operational errors robbing them of championships. Being a McLaren fan is perfectly parallelled with being an Arsenal fan.

  19. Andrew Benson ‏@andrewbensonf1
    Lowe story now updated with Brawn expected to leave

  20. Hahaha Mclaren fans are mad.

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