The talk prior to the holidays was certainly centerd on Mercedes and their search for a replacement for Nico Rosberg in2017. The other story lingering in the shadows of the driver assignment was that of technical boss Paddy Lowe and his possible departure from the team.
While Mercedes are said to be interested in wresting away Williams driver Valtteri Bottas, there is also a story today that says Lowe is heading to Williams as his contract was up at the end of 2016. While the story is straight forward and very efficient, as you would expect from Autosport/Motorsport, there are many shades of grey in the situation.
The threat of possible gardening leave or join Williams is one of them and that sounds as if Lowe was contractually set for a cooling off or gardening leave period but Mercedes may have used his discussions with Williams as part of the Bottas deal by allowing him to join the team with immediate effect. At least that seems to be a possible implication.
It’s also interesting that Lowe was looking for a larger leadership role within a team and not just a technical boss. With Pat Symonds leaving Williams at the end of 2016, that certainly could be a role open for him at the team.
What I found most interesting in the article is the almost afterthought final paragraph which says that Mercedes is set to hire James Allison as soon as he’s off gardening leave from Ferrari to replace Lowe. There’s a lot more going on here but as we’re not flies on the Mercedes wall, we may never know what the impetus for Lowe’s departure is. Was it his choice or was it Mercedes seeking Allison or were both moves just a case of good timing?
Hat Tip: Autosport