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Paddy Lowe to Mercedes?


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#251 pinkypants

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 16:49

It's the Lewis saga all over and I think it will boil down to whether or not Lowe wants to work with Lewis or not.


I don't really think it's about whether he wants to work with Lewis or not. It's a factor, but not a major factor.

It could be a number of things

- Wanting a new challenge
- Doesn't get on with one or more of the McLaren management / colleagues
- Not having the authority to make the decisions you want
- Is worried about the future direction of the team 2014 onwards
- Working conditions
- Salary
- Future career prospects

Just because he works in a 'glamorous' and very public field of work doesn't make his career choices any different from the kinds of decisions we make for ourselves in our lives.

These factors are things that most people consider before even thinking about changing jobs/careers or which particular company they would like to work for.

If he's considering leaving, I doubt it's for money as he has been a happily salaried McLaren employee for a while now. It's more likely to be how he sees his final working days playing out... keeping it safe at McLaren or taking some chances and taking on different challenges at Mercedes.

I dislike this kind of contract negotiation when it's played out in the media.. it usually means he actually has no plans to leave but is using a counter offer from a competitor to improve his current working condition (i.e. pay, contract length, authority within the team) or he is actually planning on leaving and is playing both sides against each other so he can get the best offer he can from Mercedes.

From Mercedes perspective, his knowledge and insider info from McLaren is worth his salary many times over so I have no doubt that Mercedes have made him a very competitive offer. It's just a case now of waiting and seeing what happens next.

The only thing that makes me think there might be some substance to the story is the non denial by Mclaren, Eddie strongly believes he is joining (say what you will but Eddie has been given this information from either Bernie or someone high up in Mercedes in full knowledge it will be made public) and Toto saying he "hopes" Ross stays.

Edited by pinkypants, 23 January 2013 - 16:53.


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#252 BillBald

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 20:51

Not sure if this has been mentioned - but could Lowe have problems with Michaels? If so, could this have fueled a desire to leave?


Maybe not specifically SM, but he might have had a problem with being involved in building a fast car, and then seeing the race operation mess up badly and fail to secure the titles.

Even in 2011, he was saying that the McLaren was just as fast as the Red Bull, implying that it was not the design team who were to blame for the lack of success.




#253 Fox1

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 21:51

Maybe not specifically SM, but he might have had a problem with being involved in building a fast car, and then seeing the race operation mess up badly and fail to secure the titles.

Even in 2011, he was saying that the McLaren was just as fast as the Red Bull, implying that it was not the design team who were to blame for the lack of success.

Some would say that the operation errors weren't the real issue and suggest that Paddy and company didn't build a fast enough car. Some have even suggested that the 27 was a step backwards when compared to the cars Paddy's shop has produced over the last three years.

Just an observation.

#254 study

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 22:06

Some would say that the operation errors weren't the real issue and suggest that Paddy and company didn't build a fast enough car. Some have even suggested that the 27 was a step backwards when compared to the cars Paddy's shop has produced over the last three years.

Just an observation.



haha i hope those that say that are safely behind solid doors in a cell.

You really think there was design issues and not operation errors last year?

#255 scheivlak

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 22:09

Some would say that the operation errors weren't the real issue and suggest that Paddy and company didn't build a fast enough car. Some have even suggested that the 27 was a step backwards when compared to the cars Paddy's shop has produced over the last three years.

Well, give us some names....

#256 MirNyet

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 22:47

Maybe not specifically SM, but he might have had a problem with being involved in building a fast car, and then seeing the race operation mess up badly and fail to secure the titles.

Even in 2011, he was saying that the McLaren was just as fast as the Red Bull, implying that it was not the design team who were to blame for the lack of success.


Good point - McLaren at the moment is a very different team to the one that started 2009 - Lowe appears (at least from what we see) to be old school McLaren, this may simply be a case of the shoe not fitting anymore - or perhaps the job he thought he was lining up for is now going elsewhere?



#257 MirNyet

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 22:55

Well, give us some names....


Button springs to mind on that one - he was quoted as saying that that years car was not as good as the other McLarens he had driven?

#258 BillBald

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 23:34

Button springs to mind on that one - he was quoted as saying that that years car was not as good as the other McLarens he had driven?


Jenson works closely with his engineers, he's not going to say they are to blame. From Jenson's point of view, this was a car which was difficult to set up and therefore difficult to drive.

Maybe a bit of finger-pointing has been going on within McLaren, with the design boys saying it's time the race team sorted themselves out. Perhaps what Lowe requires, rather than just more money, is for McLaren to acknowledge the problem and take action.

If they go into next season with the same structure in place for making decisions during quali and race, there's little chance of success, however good the design is.



#259 pinkypants

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 23:37

How long do reckon before any official announcement is made?

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#260 Owen

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:01

Anthony Rowlinson ‏@Rowlinson_F1R
Breaking news from @MercedesAMGF1 Ross says "Paddy (Lowe) is not coming". Then adds...
"If I choose to leave then Paddy will come". Boom! #F1

#261 Owen

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:03

Andrew Benson ‏@andrewbensonf1
Brawn says he had spoken to McLaren's Paddy Lowe, who Mercedes chief Niki Lauda admits they want, and "we know the situation"

#262 Owen

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:04

Kevin Eason ‏@easonF1
Ross Brawn scotches speculation that he is bring driven out. But Paddy Lowe has still been approached

#263 slmk

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:17

So all this noise for... nothing?

#264 KiloWatt

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:19

Kevin Eason ‏@easonF1
Ross Brawn scotches speculation that he is bring driven out. But Paddy Lowe has still been approached


Good. I think. With so many new faces around, I fear the instability it will cause will be more than the extra technical expertise.

#265 SunnyENTP

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:21

So all this noise for... nothing?



Not for Paddy, how else can he get a pay rise?. He pulled a Wayne Rooney

#266 Timstr11

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:25

So from what I gather they had Paddy Lowe as plan B in case Ross Brawn did not agree to a contract extension.
Seems he did commit to stay on. Good.

#267 Timstr11

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:28

Byron Young ‏@byronf1
Ross Brawn ref Paddy Lowe: "I know all the plans for the future at the team and I hope I will be part of them for a very long time."



#268 Owen

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:35

http://www.autosport...t.php/id/105254

#269 SCUDmissile

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:40

What I want to know is, how can Mercedes get away with this? They are talking about a McLaren engineer (not just any engineer mind, but the TD!) like they can nab him whenever they want.

If I was Ron/Martin, I'd be a bit miffed that lack of respect a team that want my people are showing by saying how easy it would be to take one of my engineers, and that he is a 'back-up' plan.

Maybe it is just me, but taking this out into the public domain reminds me of how some big soccer clubs talk about transfers.

#270 Timstr11

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:47

What I want to know is, how can Mercedes get away with this? They are talking about a McLaren engineer (not just any engineer mind, but the TD!) like they can nab him whenever they want.

If I was Ron/Martin, I'd be a bit miffed that lack of respect a team that want my people are showing by saying how easy it would be to take one of my engineers, and that he is a 'back-up' plan.

Maybe it is just me, but taking this out into the public domain reminds me of how some big soccer clubs talk about transfers.

I'd want to be sure who leaked this in the first place before starting to apportion blame.

Secondly, no need to get emotional about this. Nobody is 'nabbing Lowe whenever they want'. He 's not owned by McLaren or Mercedes. Having been with McLaren for 20 years, it is not improbable that his contract provides him with the opportunity to leave when a new opportunity comes along.

#271 F.M.

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:47

Apparently James Allison (from Lotus) will become the replacement of Paddy Lowe. Would be a big loss for Lotus if true

Edited by F.M., 24 January 2013 - 12:47.


#272 Owen

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:48

What I want to know is, how can Mercedes get away with this? They are talking about a McLaren engineer (not just any engineer mind, but the TD!) like they can nab him whenever they want.

If I was Ron/Martin, I'd be a bit miffed that lack of respect a team that want my people are showing by saying how easy it would be to take one of my engineers, and that he is a 'back-up' plan.

Maybe it is just me, but taking this out into the public domain reminds me of how some big soccer clubs talk about transfers.

You're right. I suspect this has whole experience has not been positive for the Mercedes / McLaren relationship. And seems to have put Paddy in a very awkward situation.

#273 SunnyENTP

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:48

What I want to know is, how can Mercedes get away with this? They are talking about a McLaren engineer (not just any engineer mind, but the TD!) like they can nab him whenever they want.

If I was Ron/Martin, I'd be a bit miffed that lack of respect a team that want my people are showing by saying how easy it would be to take one of my engineers, and that he is a 'back-up' plan.

Maybe it is just me, but taking this out into the public domain reminds me of how some big soccer clubs talk about transfers.


Ferrari leaking Horner paid a visit to them springs to mind. They are the masters of this sort of thing.

#274 SunnyENTP

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:53

You're right. I suspect this has whole experience has not been positive for the Mercedes / McLaren relationship. And seems to have put Paddy in a very awkward situation.



The relationship ended awhile ago. I seem to remember Whitmarsh blaming Mercedes for producing components that led to failure in Lewis car. It was the first time I had heard McLaren criticise Mercedes. Saying that they are paying customers now and both are easily replaceable. Although I cant see McLaren using rivals Ferrari engines. Maybe cosworth?

Edited by SunnyENTP, 24 January 2013 - 13:13.


#275 andrewf1

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 13:02

The relationship ended awhile ago. I seem to remember Whitmarsh blaming Mercedes for producing components that led to failure in Lewis car. It was the first time I had heard McLaren criticise Mercedes. Saying that they are paying customers now and both are easily replaceable. Although I can see McLaren using rivals Ferrari engines. Maybe cosworth?


The Vodafone Mclaren Ferrari Team - it sounds like stuff from a parallel universe. I think they will keep the Mercedes engines for quite some time, performance speaks better than some hurt feelings.

#276 string158

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 13:04

I read it as Brawns polite way of saying to Merc, "I've got a contract with you guys, don't you dare try and kick me out"

Must be a bit awkward for Mclaren and Lowe. Do they really want a TD who they know is just waiting to leave? Not ideal.

#277 Mc_Silver

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 13:13

What I want to know is, how can Mercedes get away with this? They are talking about a McLaren engineer (not just any engineer mind, but the TD!) like they can nab him whenever they want.

If I was Ron/Martin, I'd be a bit miffed that lack of respect a team that want my people are showing by saying how easy it would be to take one of my engineers, and that he is a 'back-up' plan.

Maybe it is just me, but taking this out into the public domain reminds me of how some big soccer clubs talk about transfers.


I completely agree. Mercedes is showing disrespect to McLaren here IMHO.

#278 SunnyENTP

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 13:14

The Vodafone Mclaren Ferrari Team - it sounds like stuff from a parallel universe. I think they will keep the Mercedes engines for quite some time, performance speaks better than some hurt feelings.


Yes typo, I meant I cant see Ferrari giving their engines to rivals McLaren. They are dont need the money the publicity and most importantly the competition.

#279 BernieEc

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 13:18

Apparently James Allison (from Lotus) will become the replacement of Paddy Lowe. Would be a big loss for Lotus if true


Source please.....

If the rumour about James Allison to MMcLaren is true then this gives credence to the Paddy Lowe to Merc story.......what the hell is going on with Mclaren and Merc???


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#280 Rinehart

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 13:18

Brawn obviously had some safeguards drafted into the Brawn GP sale contract. Good man!

#281 Hans V

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 13:21

I completely agree. Mercedes is showing disrespect to McLaren here IMHO.

To quote a well known film about organised crime: "It's not personal, it's business". Anyway, I more and more agree with Helmut Marko in his observation about the M-B F1 team; "Too many chiefs and not enough Indians".

#282 Obi Offiah

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 13:27

Must be a bit awkward for Mclaren and Lowe. Do they really want a TD who they know is just waiting to leave? Not ideal.

Well they were very keen to keep Newey when he had intentions to leave and Lowe's car have been challenging RBR recently so.............

#283 femi

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 13:32

Brawn obviously had some safeguards drafted into the Brawn GP sale contract. Good man!


Hard ball time, he is going to leave one way or the other. I wonder how much the severance pay is going to be...

#284 Timstr11

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 13:34

Hard ball time, he is going to leave one way or the other. I wonder how much the severance pay is going to be...

If Mercedes is smart, they will not force him out as it will only cause dissent in the team, including Hamilton: http://www.autosport...t.php/id/105255

#285 string158

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 13:52



He doesn't want to leave, and clearly has something in his contract which means that as far as he's concerned he's not going anywhere = BIG severance....


#286 KiloWatt

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 14:05

I completely agree. Mercedes is showing disrespect to McLaren here IMHO.


Ha. Let them have Renault engines then, if they're not happy. Sure the firms are "friendly", but in the overall history of Daimler, the McLaren chapter is but a speck (and vice versa to be fair) and neither company owes the other a damn thing.

#287 Juggles

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 14:28

Before this all erupted I was really looking forward to seeing how the personal relationship between Brawn and Hamilton unfolded. From the sounds of it, Hamilton was too.

Therefore it seems the ideal situation is Brawn staying as team principal with Lowe coming in to replace one or two of the other "chefs," and helping guide Merc into the new technical era. Whether Lowe would accept a move across rather than up the chain of command, even for more dosh, is questionable.

I do think there may have been some truth in the Lowe to Williams rumours; if I were a distinguished McLaren designer at the team for twenty years and decided I wanted a change, where better to go than the other great British F1 team, currently down on its luck, to really write your name into F1 history. Funnily enough, before Hamilton went to Merc that's exactly what I wanted for him (after a few more years at McLaren).

The Allison situation seems rather like the Perez one; the backstop that will be triggered if their star decides to leave.

#288 SCUDmissile

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 16:21

I'd want to be sure who leaked this in the first place before starting to apportion blame.

Secondly, no need to get emotional about this. Nobody is 'nabbing Lowe whenever they want'. He 's not owned by McLaren or Mercedes. Having been with McLaren for 20 years, it is not improbable that his contract provides him with the opportunity to leave when a new opportunity comes along.

True.

I don't really have many emotions on this, but if I was a McLaren fan, I would be a little annoyed that things like this are on Autosport and BBC for example. Normally they only get on those sites when the move has been completed/announced. But now we have rumours of a move about to happen, and it will have created uncertainty to all the team members as well who work under Lowe and other people to do with McLaren.

Ferrari leaking Horner paid a visit to them springs to mind. They are the masters of this sort of thing.


When it is rumours to do with Ferrari, they normally only appear in the Italian press and smaller sites. The Horner thing still isn't on BBC or Autosport as far as I know, and tbh rumours about who Ferrari will hire are written every day of the week. That is why it is no big deal.

I don't ever remember this much exposure to the story of an engineer leaving.

#289 boldhakka

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 16:27

What did Brawn gain by confirming the contact with Lowe? And mentioning him in the context of a succession plan? Those are details that the public and media should only know when it happens, not before. Pretty bizarre series of leaks and comments by everyone involved.

All parties could have just let the rumors die out automatically as people realized everyone is staying put. What a field day for the media though.

Edited by boldhakka, 24 January 2013 - 16:28.


#290 string158

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 16:30

Maybe Brawn is trying to stir things to increase his pay-off in order to buy a large stake in.... Williams/Lotus..? :drunk:

#291 Szoelloe

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 19:17

What did Brawn gain by confirming the contact with Lowe? And mentioning him in the context of a succession plan? Those are details that the public and media should only know when it happens, not before. Pretty bizarre series of leaks and comments by everyone involved.

All parties could have just let the rumors die out automatically as people realized everyone is staying put. What a field day for the media though.


Gained? Why do you think he wanted to gain anything? Since the whole Paddy Lowe story was leaked it seems without the consent of any of the involved parties, namely Lowe, McLaren, Mercedes, and Brawn himself, he has done the only one thing that could be done in this situation. He told it as it is. Lowe was indeed contacted, with Brawn's consent and he spoke with Lowe personally too. Nowhere has anybody stated though that Lowe has agreed to jump ship and join Mercedes. He could be persuaded, that's all you can conclude at the most, but even that would just be an assumption. You may conclude several things: Brawn was indeed ready to stand up and leave at one point. If he did decide to do that, he would have made sure that he does not push the team into turmoil, but would have made sure that they have somebody that is familiar to a certain extent with the structure he set up at Merc, and has the abilities to manage it. Since that has changed, Lowe is/was not an option anymore, and the talks were definitely not finalized. You can also conclude that it is not that far-fetched to think that all this did not happen so recently, based on comments from Hamilton, Wolff, and Brawn himself. You may also think(which is quite surprising to me, but there you are..), that the arrival of Wolff is positive news for Brawn, he may have been asking for it himself, at least to have somebody to share the non-tech related duties at the team, after Haug's departure. Something has definitely changed, and if you take a look at the way Merc is expanding...

What he could have gained though is saving Paddy Lowe's face. I think he limited the damage to Lowe. Just my 2 cents though. as much as I was pissed off yesterday, this could be somewhat positive, as long as Lauda does not interfere with running the team, and Wolff is not as abrasive as some Williams staff made him look.




#292 pinkypants

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 20:00

Yay James answered my question:

"Hi James,

When do you think we will get an announcement on Ross Brawn & Paddy Lowe? Surely this is going to be destabilizing for the team with a management reshuffle just before the season starts. One would hope they would try and get this resolved ASAP :/ I don’t want this to be ‘the reason’ why they aren’t competitive in 2013… no more excuses

James Allen Reply:
January 24th, 2013 at 5:24 am

Seeing Ross today. I don’t know about Paddy. Discussions are ongoing. He has a long tie-in on his McLaren contract so unlikely to be moving in 2013."



Thought I'd share.. i"d imagine Paddy Lowe could still be joining Merc for 2014 if Ross decides to retire.

Could be a long time though as Ross said only in September:


|“I am not planning to retire at the moment,” he said.


Brawn said he is motivated by F1′s switch to radical new engine rules in 2014.

“I am very excited about this 2014 engine programme,” he said. “I think it is quite a game-changer in F1.

“I still have a strong engineering passion, so having such a different engine and different package in 2014 is exciting and developing the team is exciting.

“For how long, who knows? But I have no interest in stopping in the near future.”"

http://www.yallaf1.c...on-the-horizon/

Edited by pinkypants, 24 January 2013 - 20:52.


#293 flatlander48

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 20:36

Something has definitely changed, and if you take a look at the way Merc is expanding...


I think they have finally realized that you can't be a front running team in F-1 on the cheap (relatively speaking). Schumacher made a similar comment a few weeks ago. You can have a presence and have a few good days on the cheap, but you're probably not going to be in serious contention for a WDC or a WCC. I think Mercedes had 2 choices. Either bail new and look bad OR make a big splash for a couple of years and see if the ship gets righted. There will still be plenty of time to bail...

#294 bauss

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 20:51

I think they have finally realized that you can't be a front running team in F-1 on the cheap (relatively speaking). Schumacher made a similar comment a few weeks ago. You can have a presence and have a few good days on the cheap, but you're probably not going to be in serious contention for a WDC or a WCC. I think Mercedes had 2 choices. Either bail new and look bad OR make a big splash for a couple of years and see if the ship gets righted. There will still be plenty of time to bail...


agreed, hiring a top driver in his prime also means they have no where to hide...continued poor performance will reflect badly on the brand and it will make little commercial sense to continue, but the potential for rewards if things are done right is high. Mercedes is probably the brand on the grid that will directly benefit the most from a WDC/WCC triumph.

#295 britishtrident

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 20:53

The Mercedes board are panicking which is not a way to run a F1 team.

#296 Peter Perfect

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 20:57

The Mercedes board are panicking which is not a way to run a F1 team.

It certainly has the feeling of a team throwing money at the problem. :well:

#297 Obi Offiah

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 21:06

It certainly has the feeling of a team throwing money at the problem. :well:

But if a large part of their problem was financial................

Edited by Obi Offiah, 25 January 2013 - 01:11.


#298 Kingshark

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 21:08

Posted Image

#299 garoidb

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 21:18

If Mercedes is smart, they will not force him out as it will only cause dissent in the team, including Hamilton: http://www.autosport...t.php/id/105255


If it turned out that Brawn was to leave the team, and particularly if he was pushed out, these statements would look a bit embarassing for all concerned. If they were planning to push Ross out, then they would have needed to do it a lot more clinically than this - so that everyone (including Lewis) would know what to say to the press. It seems to me, therefore, that this is not what is happening.

It does seem to me, though, taking all the statements into account, that Ross may not hang around forever. Bear in mind that he is 58, only 8 years younger than Patrick Head. Succession planning does make sense.


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#300 ZooL

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 22:10

In my opinion I think Paddy Lowe feels his car(talent) will be wasted on Button and Perezs so is looking for a new challenge...