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Lowe offered 'telephone number salary' - Neale
McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale says Mercedes is offering "telephone number salaries" to bring in personnel as Paddy Lowe looks set to join the team.
Lowe has been replaced as technical director by Tim Goss as part of a process that will allow him to move from McLaren to Mercedes at the end of 2013. However, Neale told Reuters that one of the reasons for the move would be financial and that McLaren should not be held accountable for Lowe's desire to leave.
"People are prepared to pay exotic salaries and wait 12 or 18 months, or longer in some cases," Neale said. "That's the state of the market. It would be disappointing if we weren't regarded as a place to hire good people because then I wouldn't be doing my job. The real test is whether we have got a system in place to pick up people from underneath, and I believe we have."
Neale also said that the Mercedes approach to recruiting from rival teams was nothing new within the sport.
"In the market place at the moment, if you've a team and you want to go out and buy some short-term know-how then you can pay telephone number salaries. If that's what your business model is. From time to time we have all done it."