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Mercedes still deciding on new role for Lowe

ESPN Staff
March 16, 2013 « McLaren still believes in problematic MP4-28 | Pole lap was not easy - Vettel »
Paddy Lowe will leave McLaren at the end of the year © Sutton Images

Toto Wolff says Paddy Lowe's arrival at Mercedes next year is not a done deal and that the team is still deciding on where he will fit into its complicated hierarchy.

Last month McLaren announced Paddy Lowe would be leaving its team at the end of the year and it has been widely reported that he is set to join Mercedes. However, when asked to confirm that Lowe would join the team, Mercedes chief executive Wolff said he was still in talks with the ex-McLaren technical director.

"I think it's too early to say that he's coming. It's not just that you hire someone and off you go, there are discussions ongoing. Paddy is obviously a good guy and it's about fitting somebody in the organisation. So it's not yet done."

Lowe's expected arrival has also sparked rumours that team principal Ross Brawn could be elbowed out to make way. Brawn and Wolff are two of three figureheads at Mercedes alongside Niki Lauda, while Bob Bell, Aldo Costa and Geoff Willis are all heading up the technical side.

Asked how Lowe would fit in, Wolff admitted: "Obviously that situation is not perfect. But we've discussed it and said that Ross is the team principal and running the racing team and this is how it's going to stay. We haven't even started the 2013 season, we feel right working together and we have a good spirit internally. Paddy Lowe coming or not is so far ahead it makes no sense to talk about it now."

Lowe is currently seeing out his contract at McLaren and last week team principal Martin Whitmarsh said he is hoping he could find a useful role for his ex-technical director.

"I met Paddy on Thursday and we had a discussion and obviously I then had to go to Australia, but I will talk to Paddy again afterwards," he said. "There are quite big areas of this year's regulations that are completely non-applicable going forwards so I would hope we would get him involved in some of those challenges."