Mercedes: Lowe in, Brawn out?

If trying to field a competitive car wasn’t challenging enough, Mercedes AMG Petronas took it upon themselves to part company with Michael Schumacher and Norbert Haug, bring in Niki Lauda, Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton on top of building a car for the 2013 Formula One season.

It now seems that the rumors of poaching Paddy Lowe from McLaren have been true all along. The BBC says that Lowe is heading to Mercedes in 2014 and that McLaren have placed him on “gardening leave” for the balance of the 2013 season. The Woking-based team played down Lowe’s absence from the official car launch saying they didn’t want the presence of the technical director to overshadow the festivities.

The shakeup at Mercedes had ruffled the feathers of current team boss Ross Brawn and some suggested that Lowe could be squarely aimed at a replacement for Brawn.  It seems that there is some evidence to that as well as the BBC are suggesting that Brawn may be out the door in the long-term. Brawn told BBC Sports:

“Paddy is not coming. I want to see how things go before I make a final long-term commitment.

“If I choose to leave the team then Paddy will come. We’ve got a plan. We have a fall-back plan. It’s as simple as that.”

This statement was issued when the rumors first started circulating about Lowe several weeks ago.

It’s a major shakeup and there is little doubt that Lowe’s move will be an impact to both teams. As the season nears the first race in Australia, new driver Lewis Hamilton says the car is good but not where it needs to be to fight for wins. Can the bellicose Lauda, vested Wolff or ruffled Brawn save the 2013 season for the German team? Time will tell but sometime you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette.

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