McLaren admits Lowe's future uncertain UPDATE #3 Paddy Lowe will move to Mercedes after his current contract with McLaren comes to an end later this year. Although Mercedes declined to comment on the situation, Autosport sources have revealed that a deal has been agreed in principle for him to switch camps ahead of the 2014 campaign.
01/31/13 McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has confirmed that technical director Paddy Lowe will remain with McLaren for the 2013 season.
The Brit has been linked with a move to Williams and Mercedes, with the latter having confirmed it has approached him about a move to Brackley.
(GMM) A notable absentee at the launch of McLaren's 2013 car on Thursday was technical director Paddy Lowe.
|Mercedes will probably poach Lowe - if you cannot beat them, steal their best talent|
Ross Brawn confirmed recently that Lowe, initially in talks with Williams, had discussed a possible future move to Mercedes.
McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh told reporters at Woking, where the wraps were taken off the evolutionary MP4-28, that 50-year-old Briton Lowe is staying put for 2013.
"The future is less certain," he admitted.
As for why Lowe is sitting out the launch, Whitmarsh said the technical director made the decision himself, to save the team the "embarrassment" of facing up to the recent controversy on the eve of McLaren's fiftieth anniversary.
Lowe "doesn't want to be a distraction," Whitmarsh said. "At his own election he felt it was inappropriate to be here.
"He'll be part of the team for the rest of this year," he added.
McLaren has followed Ferrari's lead by switching to a novel 'pull-rod' layout for the MP4-28's front suspension.
Racing it in 2013 will be Jenson Button and new arrival Sergio Perez.
"The MP4-28 isn't merely a refinement of last year's seven-race winning car," McLaren said in a statement, "it's a deep and sweeping redesign of an already successful chassis in several key areas."01/25/13 (GMM) Mercedes has offered Paddy Lowe a million euros per year to switch from McLaren, the major German newspaper Bild claims.
None other than Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn on Thursday confirmed that talks with McLaren's technical director have taken place, although Brawn strongly denied that he is being lined up to oust him.
Bild claims Mercedes' offer would "double" 50-year-old Briton Lowe's current salary.
Having also switched from McLaren to Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton however denied any knowledge of the deal.
"I've been assured by Ross his commitment is for the long term and he is here to try to win with me," the 2008 world champion told reporters at Brackley on Thursday.
Brawn added: "I've talked to Paddy. He is not coming. If I chose to leave the team Paddy will come. We have a fall-back plan. It is as simple as that."
He attempted to fend off speculation that Nick Fry, team chief executive, is the first definite victim of the power struggle.
"Nick is still very much involved," Brawn insisted. "All the changes will have an impact but he'll certainly be here for a while."
Hamilton - never far from controversy throughout his six year F1 career - argued it's a good thing that Mercedes is exploring its options, having pledged to become a truly front-running team after three seasons of finishing clearly behind F1's 'big three'.
"I think it's important that they are always analyzing and seeing what can be improved and what adjustments need to be made because they want to win," he added.
Finally, after Adam Parr's departure at Williams was linked to Bernie Ecclestone, it is rumored the F1 chief executive may be striking again, this time at Mercedes, to give Toto Wolff's career another boost.
Brawn admitted he has "not always seen eye to eye" with Ecclestone, but told the Telegraph: "I would be very surprised.
"The thing Bernie wants is a strong Mercedes. Hopefully he recognizes I am an asset to the team."