Mercedes not done poaching McLaren UPDATE #2 (GMM) Toto Wolff on Tuesday played down speculation he has wooed Paddy Lowe to Mercedes to replace team boss Ross Brawn.
Speaking to British reporters, Mercedes' new executive director and 30 per cent shareholder admitted there was "a lot of speculation" about the plans of McLaren's technical director Lowe.
McLaren and Mercedes spokespeople were keeping quiet on Tuesday, but BBC commentator Eddie Jordan - who has broken several stories in recent years - was clear.
"Paddy Lowe is going to Mercedes and it would appear that Brawn and (Nick) Fry are on their way out, and Lowe will be there in a very senior capacity," he said.
Wolff, however, said suggestions today about the next moves for Brawn, Fry or Lowe would be "foolish".
"I've read it in the papers as you have, but there's nothing else I can tell you," he added.
01/22/13 (GMM) McLaren could be set to lose its technical director.
|Paddy Lowe latest to be poached by the Germans?|
Germany's Sport Bild is reporting that Paddy Lowe, who has been with the Woking based team for twenty years, is following Lewis Hamilton to Mercedes.
The report said executive director Toto Wolff wooed Briton Lowe, 50, for a switch to Williams, but Austrian Wolff has subsequently moved to Mercedes.
"This is big news," Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko is quoted as saying.
McLaren declined to comment, according to Britain's Daily Telegraph. zzzz
Sport Bild said the other major changes at Mercedes, including the rise of Niki Lauda and the departure of Norbert Haug, could indicate that Ross Brawn and Nick Fry are preparing to leave.
The most endangered, however, appears Fry, with Mercedes' media statement on Monday saying: "Together with Ross Brawn, Lauda and Wolff will complete the management" of the team.
According to Italy's Autosprint, Mercedes' F1 shares are now split between Daimler (60 per cent), Wolff (30pc) and Lauda (10pc).
As he visited Mercedes' Stuttgart facilities on Monday, Hamilton said he knew nothing about Lowe's reportedly imminent McLaren-to-Mercedes switch.
"This is the first time I've heard of it," he said.
Meanwhile, Autosprint reported that Wolff's move from Williams to Mercedes could result in Williams being powered by a turbo Mercedes engine in 2014.
Wife Susie Wolff, however, is staying as a Williams test driver.
"Very happy for my husband," she wrote on Twitter. "We will be fighting him hard on track!"01/21/13 McLaren could be left without a technical director less than two months before the start of the season after it emerged that Mercedes, not content with pinching their star driver, are reportedly attempting to poach their most senior engineer in Paddy Lowe.
The Woking team declined to comment when contacted by Telegraph Sport on Monday night but it is understood that there is substance to the story, which once again emanated from Sport Bild.
On Sunday night the German tabloid correctly predicted Mercedes’ signing of Williams director Toto Wolff, who was duly confirmed on Monday as the German manufacturer’s new head of motorsport, replacing Norbert Haug.
It is understood that Wolff, who becomes an executive director of the Mercedes F1 team, taking a 30 per cent shareholding in the process, had been trying to sign Lowe for Williams, the team at which the 50 year-old began his F1 career in 1987. Wolff is now focused on bringing Lowe to Brackley instead.
Any move would raise plenty of questions about how the new regime would work at Mercedes F1. The team already have a number of technical directors, including Geoff Willis, Aldo Costa and Bob Bell, not to mention team principal Ross Brawn.
With three-time world champion Niki Lauda joining as non-executive chairman and now Wolff as head of motorsport, some believe the chain of command might be muddled. The Telegraph